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MI- Suspected child molester shoots man, turns gun on himself

10-2-2003 Michigan:

One man is dead after a bizarre shooting in Newaygo County. The alleged shooter killed himself just after shooting a man in bed. The victim is in critical condition at an area hospital.

The incident started just before 9:30 p.m., Tuesday, on East 16 Mile Road in northeast Newaygo County.

Newaygo County Sheriff's Department deputies say Lawrence Kardos showed up at a home with a high-powered rifle.

The homeowner, identified as Daniel Reardon, was asleep on the couch.

"When he awoke he was standing over him with a high powered rifle and made threats he wanted to kill him," says Newaygo County Sheriff Michael Mercer.

Investigators in two counties tell 24 Hour News 8 that Kardos was already in trouble with the law when he showed up at the home. He was out on bail after being charged last month on a 2000 molestation case. The case involved a child under 13 years old in neighboring Mecosta County.

Mecosta County detectives say Kardos wasn't charged with the molestation until last month because he'd been out of state.

Because of the age of the victim, investigators won't release Reardon's relation to the child. But the shooting victims was involved in the prosecution of the case. Detectives say Kardos was upset with Reardon.

After the shooting, Kardos fled while Reardon was air-lifted in critical condition to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids.

Police found Kardos less than an hour later on a two track just west of Reardon's home.

He apparantly shot himself to death.

A friend of Kardos tells 24 Hour News Eight that the suspected gunman believed he was being railroaded by police and prosecutors in the molestation case.

But Mecosta County investigators say they had a solid case.

At a preliminary hearing last month, a judge ruled there was enough evidence to go to trial. ..more.. by WOOD TV

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