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Man Who Shot, Strangled Utica Woman Is Dead, Takes Another Life With Him

Gino Geruntino, WIBX

The search for a Utica man accused of shooting and strangling his ex-girlfriend on Monday ended with a murder/suicide last night.

Around 9:30, when police entered the apartment at 815 McVean Street, they found Jerry McNair, 37, had already shot himself in the head. 36 year-old Petra Gonzalez was also killed in the same manner.

Gonzalez was found in a rear bedroom of the home, with a bullet wound that appeared slightly older than the wound found on McNair. Autopsies are being performed today to establish the cause of death and the order in which they died.

Chief Mark Williams says officers pinpointed McNair’s location off a caller’s tip, but were unable to reach him.

“Numerous attempts were made with McNair by department negotiators, but they proved unsuccessful,” Williams said. “The information received was that he was armed and dangerous and was not surrendering to police alive.”

Gino Geruntino, WIBX

Officers had been in the area of McVean St. performing surveillance on the house, when they began to establish a working operation at 3 p.m.

“We had set up a surveillance in the area probably 24 hours prior, and it took us well into the next day to get the exact apartment on McVean Street,” Lieutenant Mike Zdanowicz said. “At that point, when we released the information to [the media] that we were looking for him, we knew where he was.”

Police say McNair had been in prior relationships with both victims, providing a motive for his first attack. Gonzalez’s death is still a mystery.

“It would all be speculation on my part, but I think that we do have a motive on the first one,” Zdanowicz said. “It was because she was spurning him and wanted to break it off. Why he would do this to Ms. Gonzalez, I have absolutely no idea.”

Police were also quick to mention that where the incident was not the residence of either Gonzalez or McNair.

In September, Gonzalez and McNair were arrested for an alleged child sex abuse charges.

As for the 23 year-old victim of Monday’s shooting, she is in critical but stable condition.

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