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Bridgewater Man, 19, Identified as Gunman in Murder-Suicide at Jewelry Store

Authorities: Michael Koury left suicide note before robbery attempt, killing store owner and taking his own life.

A 19-year-old Bridgewater resident was identified Tuesday as the gunman who authorities say killed a jewelry store owner before turning the gun on himself and slitting his own throat during an apparent robbery attempt late Monday afternoon.

Police have identified Roy T. Jewelers owner Roy Devoe, 55, of Hampton, as the victim of an attempted armed robbery that turned into a at the jewelry store on Route 202.

The gunman has been identified as Michael Koury, 19, of Bridgewater, according to the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office.

According to Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey Soriano, police responded to the jewelry store Monday at about 4:45 p.m., after receiving a report of shots fired. When they arrived on the scene, Soriano said police found Devoe suffering from a gunshot wound to the head, and the gunman dead, also suffering from gunshot wounds to his head.

Soriano said officers tried to save Devoe, as did emergency medical personnel from the Somerset Medical Center's Mobile Intensive Care Unit, but he was later pronounced dead at the Somerset Medical Center.

Soriano said detectives determined the suspect, who was disguised when he arrived at the jewelry store, entered the business and pulled out a .357 Smith and Wesson revolver. Soriano claims Koury then proceeded to confront Devoe's adult daughter. From there, Soriano said, the gunman demanded jewelry, and said he would shoot Devoe's daughter if she didn't cooperate.

According to Soriano, Devoe confronted the gunman, who fired one round into the store owner's head. The gunman then fired a round at Devoe's daughter as she ran from the jewelry store.

Police said she was not injured in the incident.

Soriano said the gunman then fired one round into his own jaw that caused injuries to the lower part of his mouth. Soriano said the man then took a knife that he had strapped to his right thigh and cut his own throat before firing a final round into his head.

Soriano said the revolver and knife were found in the store next to the gunman.

According to Soriano, a suicide note was found at Koury's residence.

Soriano said the Bridgewater Township Police Department, the Somerset County Prosecutor's Major Crimes Unit, the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics Unit, the New Jersey State Police Aviation Unit, the Hillsborough Township Police Department, the Manville Police Department K9 Unit, the Somerset County Sheriff's Office K9 Unit, the New Jersey State Police K9 Unit, the Bradley Gardens Fire Department and the Country Hills Fire Department all responded to the scene.

Anyone with additional information about the homicide are asked to contact the township police department at 908-722-4111, the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office Major Crimes Unit at 908-231-7100 or the Somerset County Crime Stoppers' Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS.

All calls are confidential.

Anne Williams February 08, 2011 at 10:45 PM
He left a suicide note? Kill yourself on your own time and don't impact others. What a waste.

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