St. Joseph, Mich. -- Denise Bohn-Stewart, a local reporter and radio host, was killed by her husband Tuesday morning in what police are calling a murder-suicide.
(Photo / 98.3 The Coast)
The couple's three children were inside the home and police believe they called police. When officers arrived they radioed that the children were by the front door:
"We've got three young juveniles, there's bullet holes in the walls. They said they heard bangs"
Police say preliminary evidence indicates the shooting was pre-planned. Eric Stewart was a 28-year AEP employee who had been working as a maintenance supervisor at the Cook Nuclear Power Plant in Bridgman.
The shooting echoed over the scanners at Bohn-Stewart's place of employment less than an hour before she was scheduled to be on-air at 98.3 The Coast.
"No matter how long you're in the news business you never expect to be covering something involving someone that is professional family," said Gayle Olson, Board Chairman of Mid-West Family Broadcasting, which includes NewsCenter 16's reporting partners at WSJMWSJM.
Bohn-Stewart's relationship with Mid-West started nearly 25 years ago, but took a detour in 2000 when Denise left to begin her television career at WSBT-TV as a news reporter. She returned to the airwaves at 98.3 in December of 2014.
"First and foremost Denise was a great reporter, she was a reporter 24/7. Sometimes people learn how to be a reporter and they're a reporter in their head and they do a good job, but Denise was a reporter in her heart," Olson added.
Bohn-Stewart died at the age of 45 and has been described by colleagues as a true survivor.
She beat breast cancer years ago and still fights for others by raising money and participating in races for the cure.
Sen. John Proos (R-St. Joseph) worked with Denise Bohn-Stewart for many years both in her capacity as a broadcaster and as a promoter of breast cancer awareness legislation.
“I was devastated this morning to learn of the news of the passing of my friend, community leader and journalist Denise Bohn-Stewart," Proos said in a statement. “Denise was full of love for her family, friends and community. She was a cancer survivor, a passionate advocate for breast cancer research and always a professional. My prayers are with her family, and most especially, her three children.”
State Rep. Al Pscholka (R-Stevensville) issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon: “Denise Bohn was my friend for 25 years. We covered local meetings at competing radio stations in the early 1990s. She was a great mother, award-winning broadcaster, cancer survivor and one of my best friends. Sue and I are praying for her family and children with heavy hearts during this tragic time.”