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2013-02-28

Murder suspect kills self in Bandera County

By Carolyn B. Edwards & Judith Pannebaker

Shortly after arriving in Bandera County the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 19, a Reston, Virginia resident took his life in front of local law enforcement officers.
According to Bandera County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Matt King, Timothy Connor, 31, was a suspect in a homicide that had occurred in Reston during the early morning of Monday, Feb. 18. When firefighters responded to a fire in the second floor apartment just after 5:30 am that morning, in the Washington, DC suburb, they found Jennifer Lynne Pearson, 38, dead. The pregnant woman had trauma to her upper body, according to reports from law enforcement officials from Fairfax County, Virginia.
Local police officers immediately began a thorough search of the neighborhood using K-9 units and Connor, Pearson's husband, was identified as a person of interest in the investigation.
The couple's neighbor, Amanda Hamm, reported that she had heard a loud argument in the building around 2:30 am. At approximately 5:30 am, after smelling smoke, Hamm called 9-1-1.
According to reports, Pearson and Connor had been married for a year. The fire damaged only Pearson's apartment and no one else was injured.
According to King, Connor committed suicide at 11:34 am on Tuesday in the driveway of a residence in the 900 block of Valley Oak in the Flying L subdivision off Highway 173 South. The residence belonged to Connor's mother and stepfather.
"Earlier that morning we had been called by law enforcement authorities in Fairfax County about the suspected murder of a pregnant woman," King said. "The Virginia authorities said that the Connor's mother lived in Bandera and asked us to keep an eye out for Connor, who they identified as a person of interest in the case."
King immediately dispatched BCSO Investigators David McGilvray and Rob Vela of the BCSO Criminal Investigative Division to patrol the area in an unmarked vehicle. Apparently, Connor turned up at his destination shortly after the investigators arrived. King noted that Connor must have driven from northern Virginia at a high rate of speed to have arrived in Bandera so quickly.
"When the investigators positively identified him, they activated their emergency lights," King said. At that point, Connor pulled into the driveway and emerged from his vehicle, a silver Nissan Centra, pointing a gun at his head.
According to the report, during the short standoff, Connor kept up a running dialogue that indicated he wanted to see his mother before killing himself. "He kept honking his car horn, but neither Connor's mother nor his stepfather came out of the residence," King said. He added that Fairfax County authorities had contacted the couple earlier about their daughter-in-law, identifying Connor as a person of interest in the incident.
After expressing "sorrow at what happened" and praying, Connor returned to the driver's seat, his legs outside of the vehicle and killed himself with a single gunshot. At the time of the suicide, which occurred at 11:34 am, BCSO investigators were taking cover behind their vehicle. Previously, however, they had attempted to persuade Connor to relinquish his weapon, a 40 caliber handgun.
"The whole incident took less than five minutes," King said. He said AirLife transported Connor to University Hospital in San Antonio where he was pronounced dead of a gunshot wound to the head.
"Although neither deputy was involved in the shooting, we've asked the Texas Rangers to conduct an investigation," King revealed. "We think that's the best way to handle this and that's what they're there for."

Pictured: Courtesy photo
Blown out back window of the Nissan after Timothy Connor committed suicide in the Flying L subdivision the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 19

Courtesy photo
Current driver's license photo of Timothy Connor

Photo courtesy of NBC Washington
Jennifer Lynne Pearson and Timothy Connor