Friday, February 26, 2010

Former Trooper Bart Cunningham - Shot wife - Kalkaska Post

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Former Trooper Bart Cunningham shootings [ February 26, 2010]


Recovery continues for Ionia shooting victims
By The Grand Rapids Press staff
March 03, 2010, 9:07PM

GRAND RAPIDS -- Wendy Cunningham and Joshua Snyder continue recovering from being shot multiple times during an apparent domestic dispute in their Ionia home on Friday.

Wendy Cunningham, 42, was transferred Wednesday from Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital to the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. Her son, Joshua Snyder, 16, was discharged from Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital on Tuesday.

Both were victims of Cunningham's husband, Bart Cunningham, 37, a former state trooper who had pleaded guilty to a sex crime in 2003. Bart Cunningham took his own life during the shooting.

Ionia Department of Public Safety has not released details of what led to the shooting.

Friday’s victims in stable condition
By Jon Szerlag
The Ionia Sentinel-Standard
Mon Mar 01, 2010, 06:50 PM EST

IONIA, Mich. -Two victims who were shot multiple times early Friday morning are expected to make a full recovery, according to Ionia Public Safety Department officers.

"The conditions have been upgraded to stable condition for both parties,” said IDPS Detective Sergeant John Odette.

Wendy Suzanne Cunningham and her 16-year-old son were hospitalized after being shot by her husband, Bart Cunningham, during a supposed domestic dispute, according to IDPS officers.

The preliminary autopsy report on Bart Cunningham showed that it was a self-inflicted single shot with a small caliber that took his life. Tests are still being done to check for alcohol or drug use.

A prayer service will be held 1 p.m. Thursday at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Hubbardston for Bart Cunningham. Visitation and lunch will follow the services at the Church Hall.

The family is asking all who attend the service to wear camouflage in memory of Cunningham.

Ionia shooting victims continue to recover
By Peg McNichol
February 27, 2010, 4:48PM

IONIA -- Medical conditions for Wendy Cunningham and her son, Joshua Snyder, have been upgraded to fair.

Cunningham, 42, and Snyder, 16, are recovering at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital after being shot during an apparent domestic dispute.

Cunningham's husband, former state police trooper Bart Cunningham, 37, had shot them multiple times and took his own life in the Friday morning incident; he had pleaded guilty to a sex crime charge in 2003.

A 13-year-old girl in the home at the time of the shootings was spared. She called 911 and stayed on the phone with dispatchers during the ordeal.

Ionia police said Saturday afternoon the case, which stunned neighbors, had no new developments

Fmr. State Trooper Responsible for Ionia Shootings
Posted: Feb 27, 2010 08:53 AM CST

An early morning shooting in Ionia leaves one man dead and his wife and stepson injured. It happened on the 400 block of Baldie Street. Police say 37 year old Bart Cunningham shot his wife and sixteen year old stepson multiple times, before killing himself. Cunningham is a former state trooper. Grand Rapids TV station WOOD reports that he resigned in 2004 and has a previous conviction for domestic violence.

Authorities say the couple was arguing before the shootings and that the couple's thirteen year old daughter called 911. The police chief says it took 50 minutes for the SWAT team to get inside the home with the help of that daughter.

David Bulling, Ionia Police Chief: "We were communicating with a thirteen year old on the phone to determine what the situation was and getting our team ready and deployed to go in and make an entry of the home, not knowing what the status of the shooter was."

The thirteen year old girl was not injured. Both shooting victims are in a Grand Rapids hospital listed in serious condition.

Police say Ionia teen was on phone with 911 as former Michigan state trooper shot stepson, her mother, himself
By Barton Deiters
The Grand Rapids Press
February 26, 2010, 8:00PM

Rex Larsen. The Grand Rapids Press. A body is removed Friday from an Ionia on Baldie Street where police say a mother and son were shot by a former state police trooper. Police say the shooter killed himself in the home.

IONIA -- In the little city of Ionia, the Cunningham family has long been a well-known part of the community.

But inside their tidy white house early Friday, authorities say a domestic nightmare played out.

While a 13-year-old girl hid in a bedroom, she relayed to emergency dispatchers the deadly events she could hear transpiring beyond her locked door.


Police say Bart Cunningham, 37, a former state police trooper, shot and injured his stepson, 16-year-old Joshua Snyder, and the teen's mother, 42-year-old Wendy Cunningham. Bart Cunningham then fatally turned the gun on himself, police said.

Authorities were alerted to the incident about 4:30 a.m., when Joshua's younger sister inside the home called police.

She helped provide information for members of an Ionia County tactical team, which took about an hour before entering the home at 418 Baldie St., said David Bulling, director of the Ionia Department of Public Safety.

In the house, police found Bart Cunningham dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and the mother and son suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Police say two guns were likely involved.

Ionia shooting press conference
Wendy Cunningham and her son were taken by helicopter to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital.

They were listed in serious condition.

The incident started as a domestic dispute, police said.

Rex Larsen The Grand Rapids Press. Barb Lower, 83, lives near the home where the shooting occurred.

Barb Lower, 83, who lives across the street from the Cunninghams, said she would see their children playing and riding skateboards. "It's shocking, especially in a neighborhood like this," said Lower, who has lived in the house for more than 50 years.

Bart Cunningham enlisted as a state police trooper in 1996, but resigned in 2004 while assigned to the Kalkaska post.

In 2002, Kalkaska police arrested Cunningham on a high-court misdemeanor of fourth-degree criminal-sexual conduct, state police records show. He pled guilty in 2003 to assault and battery and attempted fourth-degree criminal-sexual conduct, and was sentenced to 18 months on probation.

In late December 2007, he was arrested in Ionia for domestic violence. He was sentenced to 12 days in jail, and 12 months on probation.

Court records show Wendy Cunningham also has had recent brushes with the law.

Wendy Cunningham had a 2004 conviction for domestic violence, and 2008 conviction for allowing alcohol or drug consumption by minors. Records showed she was arrested last year for using false or forged prescriptions to obtain controlled substances.

Early Friday, police called Ionia Public Schools leaders, letting them know what had happened, according to Ben Kirby, an assistant superintendent.

The schools on Friday tried to help students and teachers who know the teens involved, and also to stem the tide of speculation that flooded student cell phones, which are supposed to be kept in lockers.

Kirby said counselors will remain in place Monday and that the two students are long-time members of the school community.

"There is quite a connection in the community with that family," said Kirby.

"The kids are well-known and well-respected among students and teachers, as well."

One dead, two wounded in Ionia shooting
Christa Graban
Updated:2/26/2010 6:34:28 PM - Posted: 2/26/2010 6:26:31 AM

IONIA, Mich. (WZZM) - Public safety officers are investigating a triple shooting in Ionia.

It happened in the 400 block of Baldie Street.

Police say that a 13-year-old girl called police at about 4:00am Friday to report the shooting.

"She was giving us what she could based on what she could hear fro her location in an upstairs room," said Ionia Public Safety Director Dave Bulling.

A swat team entered and found two people, 42-year-old Wendy Cunningham and her 16-year-old son, upstairs shot multiple times. They found the shooter, 37-year-old Bart Frederick Cunningham, downstairs, dead after an apparent suicide.

Cunningham and her son were taken to Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids in serious condition, but with non-life threatening injuries.

Officers closed off four city blocks surrounding the crime scene and streets. Sts. Peter and Paul School, which is located near the crime scene, closed Friday because of the shooting.

The 13-year-old girl, the couple's daughter together, was not injured and is staying with family members.

Baldie Street.

Former MSP trooper shoots 2, kills self
Everybody is related

Updated: Friday, 26 Feb 2010, 6:14 PM EST
Published : Friday, 26 Feb 2010, 7:05 AM EST
By Tony Tagliavia

IONIA, Mich. (WOOD) - Investigators identified Bart Cunningham, 37, Friday afternoon as the man who shot two relatives at their Ionia home early Friday morning before committing suicide.

Cunnningham's wife, 42-year-old Wendy Cunningham, and her 16-year-old son were shot multiple times but are expected to live Ionia Public Safety Director David Bulling said Friday afternoon.

Bulling said the incident was the result of a domestic situation, but did not release further details.

Bart Cunningham was a former Michigan State Police trooper, a department spokeswoman told 24 Hour News 8. He had served only at the Kalkaska Post and resigned in 2004, she said.

The 37-year-old has a fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct conviction on his record, tied to a May 2002 incident. A jury convicted him on a charge of domestic violence against Wendy Cunningham based on a December 2007 incident.

Court records of the 2007 incident obtained by 24 Hour News 8 show Wendy Cunningham called police claiming to have been assaulted,but officers testified they did not find any evidence of injury. In court, Wendy Cunningham said he grabbed at her hand but she did not remember much of the incident. Bart Cunningham testified that he tried to grab his wife's purse and she hit him back.

Public safety officers were first called to the home in the 400 block of Baldie Street east of downtown Ionia around 4:30 a.m.

"Once officers were on scene, they were able to make contact with a 13-year-old that was still in the home," Bulling said Friday morning. The 13-year-old was Bart and Wendy Cunningham's daughter, investigators said, and was not hurt in the incidents. She is now staying with other relatives, they said.

Roughly 50 minutes later, the county's critical incident team -- made up of public safety officers and sheriff's department personnel -- entered the home, Bulling said. Investigators found "one deceased individual," he said. "At this time, the initial investigation has shown that person to be the shooter."

The two victims had multiple gunshot wounds and were taken from the scene by air, he said.

The Michigan State Police crime lab was called to the scene to investigate.

Some streets in the area were closed for a time and nearby Saints Peter and Paul school, which served as a staging area for police, canceled school Friday.

Former Michigan State Police trooper Bart Cunningham shot his wife and child before killing himself at their Ionia home (file photo).

Police in front of a house on Baldie Street in Ionia where two people were shot and one person killed himself.

Police at a home in the 400 block of Baldie Street in Ionia where a shooting occurred. (Feb. 26, 2010)

Emergency personnel at the staging area -- Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School -- after a shooting occurred at a nearby house on Baldie Street in Ionia. (Feb. 26, 2010)

Police at the staging area -- Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School -- after a shooting occurred at a nearby house on Baldie Street in Ionia. (Feb. 26, 2010)

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