Phil Trexler

NEW FRANKLIN: A former Akron fire captain, who retired last month, shot his wife three times before turning the pistol on himself, authorities said Friday.

Dead is David Ware, 56, and his wife, Teresa, 52.

Police were first alerted to the couple’s Canterbury Drive home about 9 p.m. Thursday by concerned neighbors, who told a dispatcher that the family’s dog was outside and barking incessantly throughout the day. Officers went to the home and found the garage door open.

Once inside, they found the woman, 52, dead lying on a living room couch. She had been shot in the mid-back area and twice in the head. She was clenching a pillow and was partially covered by a large seat cushion, reports show.

The body of her husband, 56, was across the room, slumped in a rocking chair. He suffered what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

A 9mm pistol was found on the floor next to the chair.

New Franklin police say there was no note indicating why the retired firefighter would have killed his wife before committing suicide. There have been no previous reports of domestic violence.

Police Detective Michael Hitchings said family members are saddened and shocked by the deaths. He said the investigation into the deaths has yet to reveal any motivation for the shooting.

“The family is as surprised as everybody else is,” he said.

A report indicates the husband retired from Akron Fire Department last month. His wife had recently been on an extended medical leave as a special education driver for Akron Public Schools, a spokesman said Friday.

Akron Fire Chief Edward Hiltbrand said firefighters are saddened and shocked by the deaths.

Ware, who specialized in hazardous material removal while primarily assigned to Station No. 4 on East Thornton Street, retired after 33-plus years in the department and had planned a motorcycle trip to the western U.S., he said.

Fellow firefighters last month held a special retirement dinner at the fire hall in Ware’s honor.

Hiltbrand said Ware showed no signs of distress as he left the department.

“We couldn’t be more shocked by what happened. The whole department, we’re just dumbfounded,” Hiltbrand said Friday.

Phil Trexler can be reached at 330-996-3717 or ptrexler@thebeaconjournal.com. He can be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PhilTrexler.