UPDATE: The Liberty County Sheriff’s follow up investigation has now confirmed the names of the deceased persons and all family members have been notified. Other details of the multiple murders and shootings that occurred on Monday, August 17, 2020 have been developed and are as follows…. Criminal Investigation Division Commander Capt. Billy Knox reported that 56 year old Richard Lamm and 38 year old Misty Herndon were the first ones shot and killed by Michael Wettstein after Wettstein first shot a dog belonging to Herndon. Wettstein then went to another house on CR 4901 and for some unknown reason shot and killed 59 year old Bruce Mercer. After that shooting, Wettstein went to the next home on CR 4901 and after arguing with Marvin Rumley and his daughter about their dog, shot both who were later air-lifted to a Houston hospital for treatment for their gun-shot wounds. It is reported that both of the Rumley’s are still in treatment at the hospital. Although the case is still under continuing investigation as to a logical motive for these murders, it was reported by area neighbors that Michael Wettstein was known for often going around the neighborhood “ranting” about the dogs that were allowed to roam freely in the area. The Sheriff’s Office is familiar with several prior calls to Wettstein’s home for various complaints. At the time of Wettstein’s arrest for these shootings, he had a “swastika” drawn on his forehead and was armed with the shotgun and rifle used in the shootings. According to CID Capt. Knox, Michael Wettstein has presently been charged with one count of Capital Murder with several other felony charges pending further investigation. He has been magistrate by Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Judge Stephen Hebert with no bond being set by the Judge. Michael Wettstein remains in the Liberty County Jail
A 911 call sent Liberty County Deputies to a reported multiple shooting scene on CR 4901 in south Liberty County at approximately 11:55am today. As both Sheriff’s Deputies and Dayton Police Officers approached the scene, a male individual spotted law enforcement approaching and immediately fell to the ground and surrendered. He was quickly identified as 60 year old Michael Wettstein who lives on CR 4901 and the person responsible for the shooting death of three people and the wounding of two others. He was immediately taken into custody and transported to the Liberty County jail without incident. He has been charged with three counts of Capital Murder as well as other charges as the investigation continues.
Although the investigation is in its early stages, Sheriff’s lead Investigator Mark Ellington said the initial investigation indicates that Wettstein shot and killed two people in one house on CR 4901 then progressed to a second house on the same street shooting and killing another person and then going near the end of the same street shooting and wounding 66 year old Marvin Rumley in the head and his 32 year old daughter, Amenda Rumley in the throat. Both father and daughter were air-lifted to a Houston hospital by Life Flight Air Ambulance in unknown condition.
As the investigation continues, authorities are attempting to determine the motive for the shootings where both a shotgun and a rifle was used and recovered. At the present time Investigators are trying to determine what, if any, relationship existed between Wettstein and any or all of the shooting victims. The crime scene is quite extensive as it involves three homes and a wooded area where one of the murder weapons was found. Therefore, it is expected Investigators will be on the scene for several hours interviewing people in the area and processing the various scenes for physical evidence.
Names of the deceased are not being confirmed by Investigators at this time until complete identification can be made and next of kin notified.
Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace Judge Larry Wilburn conducted the inquest and ordered an autopsy of all the deceased individuals as the investigation continues by Investigator Ellington into the late evening.