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Prosecutors say Daniel Petric told his parents he had 'surprise,' then shot them



ELYRIA — Just before he killed his mother and wounded his father, 16-year-old Daniel Petric told them to close their eyes because he had a surprise for them, prosecutors said in court documents filed Wednesday.

He then shot his father, the Rev. Mark Petric, 45, in the left side of the head and turned the gun on his mother, Sue Petric, 43, who was shot three times — once in the chest, again in the right arm and then in the head, according to the documents.

When he was done, Daniel Petric tried to put the 9 mm handgun — taken from a locked gun safe in his parents’ home Oct. 20, the day of the shooting — in his father’s hand, county Prosecutor Dennis Will said.

The previously unreleased details of the shooting were included in a filing by Will’s office opposing a request by the teen’s lawyer to reduce his bond from $1 million and also opposing a request to allow the recovering Mark Petric to visit with his son as clergy, which would allow what they discuss to remain off-limits from questioning when Mark Petric testifies at his son’s trial.

Will said the likely motive of the shooting was arguments between Daniel Petric and his parents about how he was raised. The disputes had grown so heated, he said, that Daniel Petric had moved out of his family’s Peck-Wadsworth Road home and was living with a friend.

Daniel’s sister, Heidi Archer, 21, called 911 after she and her husband showed up at her parents’ home to watch a baseball game only to have Daniel try to bar entry. Authorities say Daniel took off in the family’s minivan when Archer and her husband got inside, called for help and worked to save Mark Petric.

Wellington police arrested Daniel Petric a short time later and video footage of the arrest shows Daniel Petric screaming that his father had shot his mother before turning the gun on himself. Sheriff’s Capt. Richard Resendez said Daniel Petric later changed his story, admitting he had pulled the trigger.

In the filing Wednesday, Will said the teenager is a flight risk and that he needs to remain in the county jail, where’s he waiting to be tried as an adult on charges of murder and attempted murder.

“That he fled the scene of the murder speaks a lot to our case,” he said.

Mark Petric is pastor of the New Life Assembly of God in Wellington. Will said the request to allow him and his son to speak confidentially “troubling.” The court would have to determine each time the two met whether it was as father-and-son or as pastor-and-parishioner, Will said.

Besides, Will said, Daniel Petric had sought the counsel of a different pastor just before the shootings.

Attorney James Kersey, who is representing Daniel Petric, did not return messages left for him Wednesday.

Contact Jason Hawk at 329-7148 or


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