A homosexual elementary school teacher, who was "married" to another man, killed himself and his "husband" in an apparent murder-suicide after the two were allegedly caught having inappropriate contact with students, according to Dakota County court documents.
Forty-year-old Aric Babbitt and 36-year-old Matthew Deyo were under investigation for regularly taking adolescent boys on overnight trips, specifically boys who identified as possibly gay, with parental approval, even though the men were openly homosexual.
According to court records, Babbitt assured parents that he was "mentoring" their children, and when questioned about inappropriate gifts he gave them, such as underwear and skimpy yoga shorts, Babbitt told the parents that they wouldn't understand because "It's a gay thing."
A Lancaster County grand jury has determined a 33-year-old inmate at the Lincoln Correctional Center committed suicide in January and found no wrongdoing in his death, according to reports filed last week.
Charles Gipson was found unresponsive in a prison shower around 1:30 p.m. Jan. 13 after an inmate notified a caseworker, the grand jury's report said.
Prison staff found him him lying on his side, fully clothed with a bedsheet bound with a prison-issued belt around his neck, the report said.
Attempts to revive Gipson were unsuccessful.
Updated at 3:30 p.m., by Tristan Hallman: Terence Michael Groessel’s death has been ruled a suicide, police said in a news conference Thursday afternoon.
He shot himself in the head with his gun, said Maj. Jeff Cotner of the crimes against persons division.
Dallas police also released the names of the involved officers, both part of the North Central Division’s crime response team. Officer Jay Jankowski has been on the department for almost five years. Officer Michelle Herczeg has been a member of the department for almost six years, according to police.
Cotner said Herczeg gave investigators a preliminary walk-through at the scene. Jankowski has not given a statement yet.
She tapped on the window of the truck and saw Groessel lean forward, hop up a little and then point a handgun at Jankowski, who was on the other side of the pickup.
The officers retreated, pulled their guns and started shooting at Groessel, Cotner said.
He said Groessel also appeared to extend his arm out of the window and point his gun at officers again.
Police said the officers saw a single flash inside the pickup and heard a gunshot. They found Groessel dead. He had also been struck in the shoulders twice.