ULM professor dies in alleged murder-suicide in Mer Rouge

Joshua Comer, an assistant professor of communication and the communication program director at...
Joshua Comer, an assistant professor of communication and the communication program director at ULM, died Sunday night.(ULM)
Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 10:09 PM CST
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MER ROUGE, La. (KNOE) - Officials in Morehouse Parish and the Village of Mer Rouge are investigating an alleged murder-suicide that took place on Sunday night at a home in Mer Rouge.

Chief of Police Melvin Holmes confirmed the Mer Rouge Police Department and the Morehouse Parish Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a shots fired call at a home on Handy Hill Road in Mer Rouge Sunday night.

A University of Louisiana Monroe professor, Joshua Comer, was located at the scene and died of gunshot wounds. The alleged suspect in the shooting, Jack Matthews, was also located at the residence and died by a self-inflicted gunshot.

Matthews was an owner of Mer Rouge Wholesale warehouse of Sterlington and Comer’s father-in-law.

Chief Holmes said the investigation suggests an altercation took place at the home prior to the shooting. He says it has been awhile since and event like this has happened.

“Well, it was hard to believe that something like that would be happening here in Mer Rouge,” Chief Holmes said. “We have a community of about 600 people... everybody knows everybody.”

University of Louisiana Monroe President Ronald Berry extended sympathies following the death of Dr. Comer.

“The ULM family is shocked and saddened by the loss of Dr. Joshua Comer. Christine and I offer our heartfelt and deepest sympathies to his family and his many students and colleagues,” Berry said. “Josh had a significant impact on his students and was a campus leader in communication technology. His enthusiasm, warmth and kindness will be greatly missed.”

Officials say the bodies of Comer and Matthews were sent to Little Rock for an autopsy.

There are no funeral details released at this time.

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