A 57-year-old radio news anchor in Michigan was brutally murdered and his girlfriend and two children were hospitalized in what police say was an attempted murder-suicide by a 54-year-old male suspect. Jim Matthews, the overnight anchor at Detroit radio station WWJ-AM for nearly seven years, was murdered in his home Friday following a violent “domestic situation,” authorities say.
Matthews’ 35-year-old girlfriend, whose name was not released, was reportedly stabbed multiple times by the intruder. The radio man’s 10-year-old son was reportedly found tied up and locked in a closet. They were both hospitalized along with Matthews’ 5-year-old daughter. All of the victims knew the suspect, who is now in police custody, authorities said.
Chesterfield Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police Brian Bassett on Friday afternoon provided additional details into the tragic event.
Officers with the Chesterfield Police Department and firefighters at approximately 12 p.m. on Friday responded to a 911 call about a violent attack at a home located in the 33000 block of Bayview. The caller — initially identified as a “35-year-old white female” — told the emergency dispatcher that she and a 5-year-old child had “escaped” from the home where they were attacked.
According to Bassett, the woman and the child were able to flag down a car once they were out of the home and the driver helped them call for assistance.
Upon arriving at the scene, first responders found the woman, who appeared to have sustained multiple stab wounds to different parts of her body. The child was also injured, though Bassett did not provide any specifics. Emergency Medical Services personnel immediately began to render aid to the two victims who were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.
The woman was said to be in critical but stable condition while the 5-year-old arrived in stable condition, per Bassett.
When authorities entered the home, they found a 57-year-old man later identified as Matthews who appeared to have sustained severe injuries. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
Police also found a 10-year-old boy tied up and locked in a closet. The child sustained blunt force trauma and was rushed to the hospital where he was in critical condition as of Friday afternoon.
The 54-year-old suspect was found in the home’s basement suffering from a “self-inflicted wound” and what appeared to be a drug overdose. Bassett did not provide details on the man’s injuries or any weapon used in the attack, but he clarified that a firearm was not involved.
Investigators believe the suspect was attempting to commit suicide. He was brought to the hospital and was in stable condition.
According to Bassett, the family knew the suspect well and had him over often.
“There appears to be some relationship; the suspect was frequently at the home,” Bassett said. “We’re still investigating what the relationship is between all the parties.”
Bassett said that the suspect arrived at the home “early” Friday morning but said that “from that point, it’s still too early to really go into what happened.” He also said that it was “too early in the investigation” to determine whether the attack was premeditated or spontaneous.
While police did not identify the victim, WWJ-AM revealed that Matthews was the victim Friday along with the following statement:
Jim worked as the overnight news anchor at WWJ for nearly seven years. He would often speak with his co-workers about his love for his two children, and their adventures at school. He loved delivering the latest news to his listeners, and was incredibly dedicated to WWJ and the broadcasting industry. There have been many tears shed in our newsroom today and Jim will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jim’s family and friends during this difficult time.
A statement from WWJ on the tragic loss of our overnight anchor, Jim Matthews. pic.twitter.com/qlsRv5Ukp9
— WWJ 950 (@WWJ950) September 23, 2022
Watch the press conference below.
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