Updated: This article has been updated to include an interview with University Police spokeswoman Diane Brown.
Medical student Paul DeWolf, Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force, was found dead by a coworker Wednesday morning in his apartment in the Phi Rho Sigma fraternity on North Ingalls Street, and was autopsied Thursday. The results show he suffered from a fatal single gunshot wound.
Ann Arbor Police Department Lieutenant Robert Pfannes said in a press release that DeWolf’s visible injury was unknown when officers arrived on the scene and an autopsy was then required.
“Upon officers’ arrival, the apartment was orderly and valuables appeared to have been untouched,” Pfannes said in the release.
He added that no firearm was found at the scene and that the investigation is still active.
The investigation started Wednesday morning and a crime alert was issued Wednesday afternoon, declaring the death suspicious.
University Police spokeswoman Diane Brown said the AAPD and the University Police have been in “considerable contact” while working on the case, noting that both departments have had several meetings to discuss developments. She added that the AAPD are conducting an “aggressive investigation.”
Brown said both the University Police and AAPD would be stepping up patrols in the North Ingalls area for “as long as needed by our community.”
“From the University Police stand point, all of our officers who are on patrol will also patrol that area regardless of their assignments,” she said. “Our visible presence is intended to provide a higher level of comfort for the people who are living in that area.”
DeWolf is the second homicide case on campus since the death of then LSA senior Tamara Williams, who died Sept. 1997 after being stabbed by her boyfriend Kevin Nelson.
DeWolf went to Schoolcraft High School, graduated from Grand Valley State University and was set to graduate from the University’s Medical School in May 2014.
University President Mary Sue Coleman issued a statement regarding DeWolf’s death Friday afternoon.
“We extend our deepest condolences to Paul’s family, friends and colleagues,” Coleman said. “He was working and training among a close, nurturing community of healers and I know they will help each other through this difficult time. They will need the support of the broader campus community in the weeks and months ahead, and we will provide it.”
Ora Pescovitz, executive vice president for medical affairs and CEO of the University of Michigan Health System, wrote in a blog post that her “thoughts and condolences go out to Paul’s family and friends.”
“The tragic and sudden death of Paul DeWolf has left a senseless and painful void in our Health System Community,” Pescovitz said. “Paul was a talented medical student, a treasured friend and family member, and an individual who was dedicating his life to helping others.
She added that memorial service plans would be kept private at the request at DeWolf’s family and UMHS was working toward “an appropriate way to memorialize Paul’s life and contributions.”
A UMHS statement said the Medical School was reeling from DeWolf’s death.
“We mourn the passing of a promising and aspiring surgeon, who connected quickly with patients, had a thirst for knowledge and a dedication to teamwork, and showed his leadership skills in his academic, military training and athletic pursuits,” the statement said. “We are providing support to (his friends), and to his family, whose loss of their loved one brings incomparable grief.”
Anybody with information is asked to call the Ann Arbor Police tip line 734-794-6939, or e-mail TIPS@a2gov.org or Crimestoppers at 1-800-SPEAK UP.
The following organizations are providing grief counseling services for students, staff, and faculty who may have been emotionally affected by the incident:
–For students: Counseling and Psychological Services, Michigan Union, 734-764-8312
–For employees: Employee Assistance Program, D2101 Med Professional Building, 734-763-5409
–For medical students: Office of Medical Student Education’s Class Counselors, 734-764-0219, or email@example.com