Holly Tree Racquet Club murder suicide: Dimitre Dimitrov North Carolina man shoots wife dead then self during bitter divorce and custody battle of son.
Police were called to Holly Tree Racquet Club around 5:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday on reports of a shooting.
MaryAnn Dimitrov the suspect’s estranged wife, incurred a gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene after a Wilmington Police Department officer attempted life-saving aid.
The suspect, 64-year-old Dimitre Dimitrov, was transported to a local hospital for a self-inflicted gunshot wound where he was soon after pronounced dead.
The Holly Tree Racquet Club frequently hosts clinics for children on its 10 tennis courts, which are located just a few miles from the beach.
The Wilmington Police Department said no one else was injured.
‘No children were physically injured during this shooting. This is an isolated incident and is domestic in nature,’ the police department said last week. ‘Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim and her family.’
They were also in a custody battle for their 12-year-old son after separating in September, according to the local news outlet.
Domestic violence sky-fold increase during pandemic
‘The tragic event that occurred last night at Holly Tree racquet club was the result of a domestic violence dispute between a husband and his wife. The husband shot his wife and then turned the gun on himself. The victims were not members of our tennis facility. Our thoughts and prayers are with the surviving family,’ the tennis club said in a statement to the local news outlet.
Karmen Smith, the executive director of Hope Harbor Home – a nearby domestic violence shelter – said that most murder-suicides occur after a long history of domestic violence.
‘He didn’t just wake up one day and decide, well today’s the day,’ she told WWAY-TV when asked about the Dimitrovs.
She also noted that murder-suicides often occur when an abuser loses power over their partner and feels suicidal.
‘In that mindset of an abuser, they very well might decide I want this person, and if I can’t have them, I’m going to kill myself and take them down with me,’ she explained.
Reports of domestic violence increased globally between 25% and 33% as governments put stay-at-home orders in place and limited travel during the ongoing pandemic, according to a study in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.