Pamela Payne-Bennett

Coroner Rules Deaths a Murder-Suicide

Police found revolver in Hummer

March 4, 2009

HAMMOND | Hammond police said they continued Tuesday to piece together events leading up to a murder-suicide at the Hammond Marina.

Pamela Payne-Bennett, 55, of Parkland, Fla., and Calvin Douchee, 39, of Cary, Miss., died Monday after a gun was fired and an SUV submerged in the water, Hammond Police Chief Brian Miller said.

Payne-Bennett was shot multiple times in the torso, and Douchee was shot twice in the chest, Lake County Coroner David J. Pastrick said.

Pastrick said the coroner's office ruled the deaths a murder-suicide.

The two had a "long-term friendship," Miller said. He declined further comment.

Reached at a south suburban Chicago phone number Tuesday, Douchee's daughter, Shaqeia Johnson, described her father as "a loving person" but had no further comment.

Miller said both Douchee and Payne-Bennett had family in the Chicago area.

Payne-Bennett's family could not be reached Tuesday for comment.

Payne-Bennett and Douchee pulled into the marina Monday afternoon, telling a security guard they wanted to drive around, Miller said.

The pair were sitting in a black Hummer H2 with a Florida license plate about 12:45 p.m. Monday when a security guard told them they couldn't park on the marina's boat ramp, Miller said.

The guard said Douchee told him, "It will just take a minute."

Shortly after that, shots were fired, Miller said. The woman fell or was pushed out of the Hummer, and the vehicle rolled into the water, he said.

The vehicle submerged into the frigid water, and dive crews later retrieved it. Douchee's body was slumped in the driver's seat, police said.

Police also found a revolver in the Hummer, Miller said.

Miller said evidence technicians went into the water Tuesday and recovered clothing that was in the vehicle. The case remained under investigation Tuesday afternoon.


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