Mother of shooter says he sought help before murder-suicide in Greece
Nestor Ramos and Bennett J. Loudon – Staff writers
Local News – February 15, 2010 - 5:00am
In the days before he killed his 7-year-old son and then himself, Mark Resch had lost control of his life, said his mother.
“Just these last couple of days … he’d kind of given up,” Carol Gurgel said. “I was in contact with him every day. I knew he was overwhelmed with it all.”
At her urging, Resch saw a counselor last week. She had hoped to prevent him from harming himself, she said, never imagining he’d hurt his son, Hunter.
With the counselor, “he cried, and let out a lot of pain,” she said.
It wasn’t enough.
Friday, in an act local psychiatrists say can defy comprehension, Resch used a shotgun to kill Hunter T. Resch, 7, and then commit suicide. Police say he left behind a long note detailing the horrific plan he carried out.
Friends said Hunter was a happy child who loved his Cub Scout activities and had an easy smile.
“He was very friendly, always happy and loved Scouting. He was just a happy kid,” said Bob Watt, whose grandson is a member of the same Scout pack.
He had many friends at Paddy Hill Elementary School in Greece where he was nicknamed “The Mayor of Paddy Hill,” according to his obituary. He loved fishing and Legos.
But Hunter’s father had lost track of his own happiness this year, Gurgel said. In January, Resch lost his job and, with it, his car. Resch’s estranged wife left him Jan. 25 and got a temporary order of protection, which was made permanent on Feb. 8, according to Greece Police Chief Todd Baxter.
Catherine Cerulli, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, said murder-suicides are usually triggered by a “precipitating event,” such as a custody battle.
According to Baxter, Resch said in the note that he was acting out of spite and revenge against his wife.
“Every once in a while you get these cases where a parent will kill a child. To most of us, it makes no sense,” said Dr. Eric Caine, chairman of the department of psychiatry at the URMC Medical Center and co-director of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide.
“This is the kind of thing that someone is so full of bitterness and hate that it blinds them,” he said.
Gurgel disputed Greece police’s characterization of her son as “a mean person.”
“He’s a very generous, gentle, kind person. But he did have mental issues,” Gurgel said.
“He was a recovering alcoholic (but) he hadn’t had any slips along the line. He was going to a lot of AA meetings.”
On Friday, Hunter’s mother, Susan Resch, called 911 about 7:30 p.m. to ask police to check on the welfare of her son at 491 Island Cottage Road. She told police she had just talked to her husband, who told her: “You’ll never make it here in time” to pick up the boy.
Susan Resch had sought an order of protection because Mark Resch allegedly threatened her life. As part of the order, he was prohibited from owning any guns and police had taken a shotgun from his home.
Brian J. Barney, a Rochester lawyer specializing in family law who has no connection to the case, said it’s not unusual for an order of protection to apply to a parent, but not a child.
When both parties go before a judge, the parent requesting the order often consents to visitation because they may not consider the other parent a threat to the child.
“It’s not a failure by the system. Based upon what I know, even when the system works the way it’s supposed to, our society does not presume people are going to go out and shoot people. We don’t function that way,” Barney said.
A funeral Mass for Hunter is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Charles Borromeo Church, 3003 Dewey Ave., Greece. Calling hours will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at Vay-Schleich and Meeson Funeral Home, Greece Chapel, 1075 Long Pond Road.
The funeral for Mark Resch will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Leo’s Church, 167 Lake Ave., Hilton. Calling hours will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Vay-Schleich and Meeson Funeral Home.
The Greece Central School District’s Trauma, Injury and Grief team will hold a meeting for adults in the district at 9 a.m. today in the cafeteria of Paddy Hill Elementary School, 1801 Latta Road. It will offer advice on ways parents can communicate with their children about the tragedy. When school resumes on Feb. 22, the team will provide counselors for the classrooms most affected by the incident. The school has resources available on its Web site,http://web001.greece.k12.ny.us/paddy-hill.cfm.Technorati Tags: Mother,shooter,Greece,Nestor,Ramos,Bennett,Loudon,Staff,Local,News,February,Mark,Resch,life,Just,Carol,Gurgel,counselor,Hunter,pain,comprehension,Police,Friends,Scout,activities,Watt,member,Paddy,Hill,Elementary,School,Mayor,Legos,father,January,wife,protection,Chief,Todd,Baxter,Catherine,Cerulli,professor,psychiatry,Rochester,Medicine,Dentistry,event,custody,spite,revenge,cases,parent,Eric,Caine,department,URMC,Medical,Center,director,Study,Prevention,Suicide,characterization,person,Susan,welfare,Island,Cottage,Road,husband,Brian,Barney,lawyer,connection,threat,failure,system,funeral,Mass,Charles,Borromeo,Church,Dewey,Schleich,Meeson,Home,Chapel,Long,Pond,Lake,Hilton,NRAMOS,DemocratandChronicle,BLOUDON,PARENTS,Central,District,Trauma,Injury,Grief,team,cafeteria,Latta,advice,children,tragedy,incident,psychiatrists,counselors,himself,shotgun,hoursNote: Cross posted from [firstname.lastname@example.org Blog.com] Mothers Global Justice Alliance.