Yesterday we wrote about the Lewisville P.D. SWAT Team apprehending a suspect who had barricaded himself in his home with the body of his murdered wife, Bernice Stolz (49).
Today, we have new details on the case of 76 year old Michael Stephen Stolz, who is being held in Denton County on murder charges. Bail has been set at $250,000 bail.
Tuesday, Bernice's employer at Verizon where she worked called police reporting that she had failed to show up for work for several days, and that they were concerned for her well-being, because it was unlike her to not show up and not call in or email.
A police officer showed up at their home at 1632 Chisolm Trail Tuesday afternoon. Since previous call history at the home indicated the man was elderly and had diabetic issues, officers began knocking on windows and doors, and when unsuccessful, another officer was called, and they made their way past a locked gate on the privacy fence into the back yard.
When officers opened the rear sliding glass door, they spotted a dead dog lying on the floor in the living room, and could smell the odor of decomposition.
A third officer arrived, and the officer announced that they were going to enter. They then heard Stolz say the he would be "out there" in a minute, and not to come in. Officers believed the man was standing in the kitchen at the time.
Officers began calling all known phone numbers for Bernice and none were answered. Stolz stopped all communications.
SWAT was called and surrounded the home, deploying at least one sniper. Negotiators were called in to try to establish communications. When that was unsuccessful, a search warrant was obtained, and officers deployed a robotic device in the home. The first robotic device had video, but could not move from its location, so officers deployed a second one. Via the camera on the device, officers could see that Stolz was lying on the floor unarmed.
At that point, SWAT made forced entry and took Stolz into custody. They took him outside and questioned him.
A detective entered the home at this point and discovered a second dead dog in the kitchen, near a large pool of blood. Bernice Stolz' body was lying on the floor with several gunshot wounds, including one to the head.
When questioned later at the police station, Stolz admitted that he had been upset with one of the dogs for "shitting in the house". Stolz said that Bernice had complained about the dog, and he had had enough. He went into the bedroom and retrieved a 38 caliber pistol; went into the living room and shot the dog in the head. At that point, his wife started screaming and ran into the kitchen. Stolz then shot the other dog at least twice, then started shooting his wife.
Stolz stated that he ran out of bullets and did not "plan this out" because he didn't have any bullets left to shoot himself.
Stolz had been a baggage handler for American Airlines for many years. He was believed to use a walking cane with a knife or sword in it. Witnesses the police department consulted with indicated that he had many long guns, handguns, swords and other weapons in the house. They also said that he was taking medication and may have been depressed.
Bernice Stolz’ body was transported to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner for an autopsy. The medical examiner ruled that the nature of death was homicide and the cause was from a gunshot wound to the abdomen.