Suspect in shooting case commits suicide

PARKERSBURG – A man fatally shot himself after Parkersburg police attempted to serve him with felony arrest warrants out of Athens County, police said.

Jerry Frank Lewis, 60, of 499 Putnam St., Apt. A, Parkersburg, shot himself in a room of his home after police attempted to make contact with him around 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, police said.

Sgt. Greg Collins with the Parkersburg Police Department said police arrived at the Putnam Street residence to serve the Athens County warrants with back-up because Lewis had a history of violence.

Lewis pleaded guilty in an Athens County court on Sept. 17 for shooting his ex-wife.

The prosecution alleged Lewis shot his ex-wife, Connie, in the abdomen while she was sleeping in August 2011, media outlets reported. She survived the gunshot wound and later filed for divorce and also filed a civil lawsuit against Lewis for $1 million.

Collins said police attempted to make contact with Lewis on Tuesday morning after receiving a phone call he was staying at the Putnam Street address. He said detectives and uniformed officers were there to serve the warrants for felonious assault, theft and forgery out of Athens County.

“A couple people came out of the home stating he was inside acting strange,” Collins said. “They said he went to the bedroom and was not coming out.”

Collins said those people also told police Lewis possessed a firearm. Officers tried to talk to him, repeatedly, Collins said.

“The crisis negotiators came; he still wouldn’t answer,” Collins said. “We heard gunshots and once we felt we could safely enter the home (police) forced entry and found (Lewis) with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”