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Shooting victims released from hospital

October 29, 2010
Kylie Saari — Staff Writer

FAIRMONT - A Fairmont police officer and a civilian who were the shooting victims of an ambush on first responders Tuesday night have been released from the hospitals where they were being held for treatment.

Officials are not releasing the identity of the shooter, whose body was found late Tuesday evening at 417 Webster Street.

The man died of what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Police have said the unidentified person is responsible for starting a fire to lure first responders to the scene. The man then shot Officer Chad Sanow and Matthew Von Watermulen, a civilian police are describing as a good Samaritan.

Sanow was shot in the chest with a large-caliber bullet and Von Watermulen was shot in the abdomen. Both men have been released from the hospital, officials announced Thursday.

Fairmont police chief Greg Brolsma told reporters law enforcement have their suspicions as to who the unidentified shooter is, but are awaiting official word from the autopsy report.

Michael Mathwig lived in the home that burned Tuesday night. Lakeview Funeral Home posted an obituary online for Mathwig, stating he died Tuesday night at his home in Fairmont.

Mathwig has a criminal record and was on probation at the time of the fire. Court records show Mathwig, 49, pled guilty in April to one count of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct. He was accused of exposing himself to a neighbor girl who was younger than 16, according to the criminal complaint for that case.

Lt. Del Ellis with the Fairmont Police department said while they would like to inform the public who the shooter is, they can't confirm the identity until they get the report from the pathologist.

"It would be irresponsible for us to do so," he said.

Brolsma was not sure when more information would be available.



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