Suspect in ex-wife’s death surrenders after standoff in north Fort Worth

Posted Tuesday, Jan. 07, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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A man accused of fatally stabbing his ex-wife Monday at her real estate office in north Fort Worth was arrested Tuesday after a five-hour standoff with police.

John St. Angelo, 49, of Haslet fired several shots at officers when they tried to arrest him late Tuesday morning at a house in the 6800 block of Permian Lane, police said.

Police did not shoot back but called for a SWAT team, Cpl. Tracey Knight, a police spokeswoman, said.

Those officers could be heard on the radio saying that the man in the house was “ranting and raving” and at one point was threatening to “pull the trigger” if they entered the house.

The SWAT officers used a robot to pump tear gas into the house, tried to talk to St. Angelo on the phone and waited.

St. Angelo walked out of the house about 4:40 p.m. He had been shot in the face, a wound that police said was self-inflicted. He was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

He remained in the hospital on Wednesday morning, according to police.

There were no new details in the case available Wednesday.

St. Angelo is accused of killing Suzanne Parsons, 49, of Haslet, Knight said.

Parsons was pronounced dead at 4:38 p.m. Monday at the Re/Max Heritage office at 4200 Heritage Trace Parkway. The Tarrant County medical examiner reported that the cause of her death was “multiple stab and cut wounds of the neck and chest.”

Court records show that the couple had a tumultuous marriage. Their divorce was final on Dec. 16. Parsons had obtained a protective order against St. Angelo because of threats against her, his children and adult relatives.

Police investigating Parsons’ death learned where her ex-husband was about 11 a.m. Tuesday when a resident of the house on Permian Lane called police to report that St. Angelo was there, according to an initial police report.

She said that she had come home about 11:30 p.m. Monday to find him there. She told police that she met St. Angelo several months ago when he helped her move, according to the report.

St. Angelo told the woman that he thought he had killed Parsons, the report stated.

When asked why the woman waited about 12 hours to call police, Knight said, “That is part of the investigation and I cannot release that information.”

Robot, tear gas used

Police descended on the neighborhood. Some neighbors were evacuated while others were told to “shelter in place,” Knight said.

SWAT officers fired rounds of gas into the home, but it became a long process because the two-story house had multiple rooms, and St. Angelo was moving around a lot, Knight said.

Officers used a small explosive charge to break through the garage door to create an opening for a robot and more gas.

Scanner talk indicated that officers were thinking about shutting off the water to the house out of concern that St. Angelo might wash off gas residue.

He indicated that he wanted to harm himself, Knight said.

At 3 p.m., scanner talk indicated that the man had stopped communicating with officers on an open line.

Several minutes later, the SWAT team prepared to deploy a robot to a second floor of the house to release additional gas. The entire house would be a rich “gas environment,” according to an officer on the scanner.

At some point, St. Angelo resumed talking to police, but the gas deployed earlier might have been making him moan and gag, according to scanner traffic.

A SWAT leader was heard saying team members should “be ready with a lethal option” if St. Angelo came out shooting.

But that didn’t happen. He walked out about 4:40 p.m. and was taken into custody.

Officers said he had been shot in the face, which was “of his own doing.”

Knight said St. Angelo had what appeared to be self-inflicted gunshot wounds, but she declined to say where the wounds were located on his body.

St. Angelo was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth with “serious but non-life-threatening injuries,” said Matt Zavadsky, MedStar spokesman.

He was “conscious and alert,” Zavadsky said.

Knight said at 7:30 p.m. that St. Angelo was still at the hospital.

Police will prepare a murder case against St. Angelo in Parsons’ death, Knight said. She didn’t know what other charges he might face because of the standoff.

Woman remembered

Near the house on Permian Lane, Eric Lamay, 51, said he worked at the Re/Max real estate office with Parsons and had lived in the neighborhood for 14 years.

He was not in the office when she was attacked Monday.

Lamay said he had been in the office on previous occasions when St. Angelo visited, but “no one ever told me he was dangerous.”

“I’ve seen him and her together and nothing ever came up,” Lamay said.

“And now to see this happen three blocks away from my house is really strange.”

According to a Re/Max website, Parsons was licensed as a real estate agent in 2005 and joined Re/Max in 2010.

“He breaks things, screams”

Court documents give this brief account of Parsons and St. Angelo’s life together:

They married on July 2, 2010, which on Sunday on his Facebook page St. Angelo described as “the biggest most expensive mistake of my life … the day we married equaled having terminal cancer that was a slow death to me and my finances.”

They filed paperwork for a divorce in May, the same month that Parsons got a protective order against her husband, covering her, his two children who were living with the couple and nine adult family members.

In the affidavit for the protection order Parsons, who noted that she had left her husband in the past, said he was “threatening” when he got mad.

“He breaks things, screams and has threatened me,” Parsons said in the affidavit.

On a recent vacation trip to Cancun, after both had been drinking, Parsons wrote that he got upset with her, saying, “You’re a spoiled whore” and continued to call her abusive names.

Parsons wrote that St. Angelo repeatedly punched her, yelling, “Where are your brothers now, bitch? Where are your kids now? No one can save you here.”

Parsons fled when a hotel employee knocked on their door.

In June, St. Angelo was arrested after he assaulted Parsons’ brother with a hammer. He was sentenced to two days in jail in October.

Staff writer Bill Miller and researcher Cathy Belcher contributed to this report.

Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763 Twitter: @mingoramirezjr

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