- Associated Press - Monday, August 17, 2015

A man fatally shot his fiancee after they argued at their northern New Jersey home and then shot and killed her brother when he arrived at the residence a short time later, sparking a lengthy standoff that ended when the man shot himself, authorities said Monday.

Somerset County prosecutors said the body of 48-year-old John Reno was found Sunday in a drainage ditch in a dense wooded area behind the Warren Township home. He had a self-inflicted fatal gunshot wound to the head, and an assault rifle with two high-capacity magazines was found next to his body.

The discovery culminated a standoff that had started shortly before 1:30 p.m., when police went to the Mount Horeb Road home after a family member asked them to check on Reno’s welfare. As officers approached the home, they saw an unresponsive man lying in the driveway, who was later identified as Frederick Errickson Jr., 55, of Middlesex.

As the officers got out of their respective vehicles, Reno fired an assault rifle at them from a first-floor window of the home, prosecutors said. The officers radioed for backup but did not return fire.

Officers from Warren and neighboring towns soon arrived on scene, along with a county SWAT team. At that time, authorities believed Reno was in the home and was armed and dangerous, so authorities set up a large perimeter around the home and evacuated nearby residences.

Cameras attached to a remote-controlled robot sent into the residence by the SWAT team showed the body of Reno’s fiancee, 45-year-old Heidi Errickson, lying in a first-floor hallway.

Authorities did not say what Reno and Heidi Errickson were arguing about. It’s believed that Frederick Errickson went to the home to check on his sister’s welfare.

The last gun shot in the incident - possibly that associated with Reno’s suicide - was heard at 1:33 p.m., prosecutors said. None of the responding officers were hit or injured when Reno shot at them, authorities said, but they did suffer stress-related symptoms and continue to receive treatment at a hospital.

Authorities believe that Reno may have had a history of mental health issues.

Reno pleaded guilty to fleeing from police officers in Bethlehem Township, Pennsylvania, in 2003, according to court records. He was sentenced to probation.

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