A man accused of fatally shooting his brother-in-law and wounding his sister at a La Quinta home, then leading police on a pursuit into the Inland Empire, where he shot himself, died of his injuries over the weekend, sheriff’s deputies said Monday.
Stacy Rowan, 56, of La Quinta, died at 11:35 a.m. Saturday following his Thursday hospitalization for a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Sheriff’s deputies say that just before 8 a.m. Thursday, Rowan shot and killed 72-year-old Michael J. McGrath of La Quinta at a home in the 54700 block of Avenida Vallejo. McGrath’s wife, who is also Rowan’s sister, was shot and hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries and has since been released from the hospital.
Following the shooting, Rowan fled the scene in a pickup truck, triggering a chase that ended near Archibald Avenue and Inland Empire Boulevard in Ontario, where Rowan pulled over and shot himself, according to Sgt. Ben Ramirez of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
Sheriff’s deputies initially said Rowan would be booked into a county jail on suspicion of murder “after his self-inflicted injury improves.”
Court records show that Rowan was due in court on the morning of the shooting, stemming from a previous arrest at the same Avenida Vallejo address, where he was arrested in July on suspicion of illegally possessing several firearms and “materials consistent with explosives.”
Sheriff’s deputies initially responded to the home for “a family disturbance” at 12:38 p.m. July 30, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Davis.
Rowan was released from jail three days later on $25,000 bail, county jail records show.
Rowan was charged by Riverside County prosecutors with seven felonies, including being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of an assault weapon and possession of a destructive device or explosive without a permit.
A criminal complaint alleges that Rowan illegally possessed a Pietta .44 black powder revolver, a non-serialized .33 black powder revolver, a .22 LR Explorer II pistol, as well as the unspecified explosive materials. The complaint also references a 1990 conviction out of Placer County for carrying a concealed weapon.
He was due in court Thursday morning for a felony settlement conference, which was scheduled to take place about 30 minutes after deputies received word of the shooting.
Just before 11 a.m. Thursday, a fire began at the La Quinta home where the homicide occurred, but it was unclear if the blaze had any connection to the ongoing investigation. The fire, which led authorities to briefly evacuate neighboring homes, was quickly contained by Riverside County firefighters. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
Anyone with information regarding the shooting was asked to contact Investigator Manjarrez of the sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit at (760) 393-3530.
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