POLICE: Liberty County man had swastika on head when arrested for fatal shooting spree

Published 3:40 pm Tuesday, August 18, 2020

LIBERTY COUNTY — When Liberty County capital murder suspect Michael Wettstein was taken into custody for killing three people and injuring two others, he had a swastika drawn on his forehead and was still armed with the shotgun and rifle used in the shootings, authorities said.

Wettstein, 60, of Liberty County is charged with capital murder with several other felony charges pending. Liberty County Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Stephen Hebert denied bond.

Criminal Investigation Division Commander Capt. Billy Knox reported 56-year-old Richard Lamm and 38-year-old Misty Herndon were the first ones shot and killed after the gunman shot a dog belonging to Herndon.

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The suspect then went to another house on CR 4901 and shot and killed 59-year-old Bruce Mercer.

After that shooting, the gunman went to the home next door to that and, after arguing with Marvin Rumley and his daughter Amanda about their dog, shot both of them. The Rumley’s were air-lifted to a Houston hospital for treatment for their gunshot wounds and were still in treatment at the hospital.

“Although the case is still under continuing investigation as to a logical motive for these murders, it was reported by area neighbors that Michael Wettstein was known for often going around the neighborhood “ranting” about the dogs that were allowed to roam freely in the area,” the press release stated.

“The Sheriff’s Office is familiar with several prior calls to Wettstein’s home for various complaints. At the time of Wettstein’s arrest for these shootings, he had a “swastika” drawn on his forehead and was armed with the shotgun and rifle used in the shootings.”