Chesterfield man kills ill wife, self after emailing neighbors about struggles

2 found dead after shooting in Chesterfield

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A husband and wife were found shot inside their Bexley home Wednesday morning.

Officers believe 73-year-old Dennis Rudzinski shot his 68-year-old wife Marilyn before turning the gun on himself.

An aide discovered the couple inside their home in the 2700 block of Newquay Lane just before 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Ten minutes before police arrived to the scene of the double shooting, an e-mail was sent to neighbors from Dennis Rudzinski. It started by thanking them for their prayers and then detailed his wife's failing health, saying the future seemed dim and ended with him saying he was not sure how much longer he could manage.

According to neighbors, his wife Marilyn had been bravely battling cancer for years. In February, her health took a turn for the worse, advancing to Stage Four Cancer and spreading to her brain and spinal cord.

"She really fought. But this time…," neighbor Jeanne-Marie Andrews said before being overcome with emotion.

Her husband Dennis, was devoted to Marilyn and her care. He was a retired anesthesiologist, she was a retired nurse.

"They fought together, stayed right in there," said Dr. Jack Andrews, a long-time family friend. He first met the couple more than 50 years ago, working together in the hospital.

Neighbors describe the two as a unit, as caretakers for each other.

"His daughter-in-law said he was just grieving out of his mind, that it was more than he could bear," longtime neighbor and friend Sally Ward shared. "The grief of watching her and knowing that she would probably not get better."

The couple leaves behind two adult sons and a ten-month-old grandchild. Friends recalled how excited the couple was to become first-time grandparents.

The loss of their lives, and the manner in which they were taken, is felt greatly throughout their neighborhood as friends continue to stress how much the two cared for each other, how deeply they loved one another.

Anyone with information should contact the Chesterfield County Police Department at (804) 748-1251.

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