Former Michigan rowing standout killed in Oklahoma murder-suicide

Bill Schnittman, former University of Michigan rower, Olympic hopeful, killed by girlfriend's estranged husband in Oklahoma City

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Bill Schnittman had big dreams of competing in the Olympic games one day.

The 25-year-old former University of Michigan rower was captain of his college team.

However, on Thursday night Schnittman was shot and killed in Oklahoma City after a domestic violence dispute involving his girlfriend and her estranged husband. Schnittman, a Bloomfield Hills native, had moved to Oklahoma a few years ago to train for the Olympics.

"He was totally immersed in rowing, as any athlete is, I guess, with the sport that they are doing. Bill sort of took it to a different level, though," said a friend. "He was involved with a woman who had a crazy, soon-to-be ex."

Police say his killer was Darrell Wilson, who later took his own life. Before doing that, Wilson led police on a high-speed chase with his wife, Schnittman's girlfriend, held hostage.

Officers were able to convince Wilson to let the woman go just before he crashed and shot himself in the head.

Friends say Wilson had made several threats to Schnittman who, just weeks prior to the deadly shooting, had tried to get a personal protection order against Wilson. However, police say a judge denied the PPO.

"I'm sure that he stuck up for himself and this woman, and her children. And, this guy took it as a challenge, I am guessing ... and went off the deep end," said a friend.

Schnittman's friends and family are remembering him as a gentle giant with a passion for rowing. He also is a graduate of the University of Detroit Jesuit High School.

Funeral services and a memorial will be held at the high school later this week.

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