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Independence murder-suicide had Oxford connection

Adair (click for larger version)
September 07, 2011 - Police say a man's infatuation with a young lady he worked with at the Salvation Army in Oxford Township turned tragic Saturday when he shot her mother to death and wounded her father, then turned the gun on himself and ended his own life.

The shootings happened around 2:40 a.m. in the 4700 block of Whipple Lake Road in Independence Twp.

According to the Oakland County Sheriff's Department, the shooter, Matthew Stephen Adair, 25, broke into the home and waited for the Kristen Hinze, 19, in her bedroom.

"We believe at some point he must have been in the house previously to know where her room was," said Sheriff's Det. Sgt. John Jacobson, of the Independence Twp. substation. "There was a statement made by the father that he recognized the individual as Matt."

Although Adair's official address was in Holly, he had actually been living with a friend and this friend's parents at a home in Brandon Township for about a year, according to Jacobson.

Jacobson indicated Adair was able to enter the Hinze family home because the front door was unlocked.

"The parents had left the front door open for her, knowing that she was out," he said. "We're guessing that he obviously checked the door and found it was open . . . There was no forced entry."

When Kristen arrived home after a night out with friends, Jacobson indicated Adair attacked her and began choking her.

When her parents attempted to come to the rescue, Adair shot them with .410 Derringer (a two-shot), which belonged to the friend he was living with. The Derringer was locked up, but Adair knew the combination to the gun safe because he had a rifle stored in it.

"When the owner of the weapon . . . found out what was going on, he went and checked and saw that the gun was missing. He reported the gun as being stolen," Jacobson said.

The mother, LouAnn Hinze, 56, was shot in the chest/neck area and later pronounced dead at POH Regional Medical Center in Pontiac.

The father, Charles Hinze, 50, was shot in the shoulder. He was treated and released from the hospital.

After he was shot, the father was able to get away and obtain his own firearm from elsewhere in the house.

"He went down to the basement. He got his shotgun out of the gun case and retrieved some ammo," Jacobson said. "While he was doing that, there was a third gunshot heard (from the) upstairs."

Adair shot himself in the chest and died.

During the incident, Kristen managed to get away, hide in her parents' bedroom and call 9-1-1 for help.

Adair and Kristen knew each other from working together at the Salvation Army located at 1200 S. Lapeer Rd. in Oxford Township.

He was working there doing community service for a marijuana-related conviction. Kristen was a paid employee of Salvation Army.

"She said she had known him for about a month-and-a-half," Jacobson said. "She was the one in charge of checking him in . . . That's how they developed a friendship."

According to the sheriff's department, Adair had previously expressed to Kristen that he was interested in having a relationship with her.

"He would bring her chocolate Ė you know candy bars, stuff like that," Jacobson said. "He was romantically pursuing her."

Jacobson said Kristen "made it clear that she had a boyfriend" and told Adair they could be friends, but nothing more.

When asked if Adair had any history of violence or mental illness, Jacobson replied, "Absolutely none." He noted Adair had no prior criminal record other than the marijuana-related conviction.

Jacobson indicated the family Adair was staying with told investigators that he was "depressed" the day before the shootings and told them "he had broken up with his girlfriend."

"He was obviously depressed, but he made no mention (of anything) that would have led somebody to believe that he was at this depth," he said.

Jacobson stressed how important it is for people to lock their home's doors and windows, no matter where they live.

"Obviously, this is something that you wouldn't expect, especially in that area, but crime doesn't respect a zip code," he said. "These types of things can happen anywhere. This isn't Springfield, Illinois (in) 1952. They put locks on doors for a reason. They put locks on cars for a reason. I think we should utilize our common sense and be safe."

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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