Police rule Midwest City fire suicide

Thursday, May 1st 2008, 10:29 am
By: News 9

By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

MIDWEST CITY, Okla. -- Firefighters got the call around 7:00 a.m. Thursday morning to a house fire. Once inside, they found a body.

Midwest City Police initially believed it was a homicide, but after further investigation, they're calling it a suicide.

Firefighters showed up to the home engulfed in flames. After the fire was out, investigators found the body of a man in his 50's lying on the kitchen floor.

"They drug the victim out the front door at that point, there was obvious trauma to the upper torso and head of the victim, so it definitely was a crime scene," Midwest City Police Chief Brandon Clabes said.

But after preliminary investigation, police said the man, identified as 56-year-old William Gorrell, set three separate fires, then shot himself.

Police said Gorrell was behind on rent and was being evicted after living at the home for two decades. Neighbors said the man often kept to himself and was shocked to hear what happened so close to their normally quiet neighborhood.

Police said they also found several weapons inside the home including a handgun near Gorrell's body.

The house was destroyed in the fire