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NH Man Warned Neighbors Before Killing Son, Self At YWCA

Holly Ramer, Associated Press
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YMCA Manchester NH (Credit: Bree Sison/WBZ-TV)

YMCA Manchester NH (Credit: Bree Sison/WBZ-TV)

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire man who killed himself and his 9-year-old son during a supervised visit at a YWCA because he was upset over custody arrangements emailed his neighbors earlier that day and told them there was nothing anyone could do to stop him.

The email Muni Savyon sent to his neighbors was included in a report issued Thursday by the state attorney general’s office.

According to the report, Savyon and his son, Joshua, had been talking and playing games for about 40 minutes during the Aug. 11 visit when Savyon unzipped a black briefcase, took out a handgun and shot the boy in the back of the head. He stood and shot the boy five more times before killing himself, the report states.

“There’s one important thing you should know: There was nothing that you, or anyone close to me, could have done to prevent the tragedy,” Savyon wrote to his neighbors. “Do you need to know why I did this? Never mind. The man is insane.”

Though Savyon had been scanned by a hand-held metal detector for previous visits at the YWCA, he was not before the fatal shooting. Workers told investigators that they had police officers providing security when the policy requiring the scans was enacted, but staff had been “loose” on enforcing it since funding cuts reduced that security. One worker told investigators that staffers weren’t sure what they would do if they found a gun on someone.

Born in Israel, Savyon was a naturalized citizen who lived in several Western states before coming to New England, where he worked as a software engineer. Savyon and the boy’s mother, Becky Ranes, were not married, and according to court documents and Thursday’s report, he had been upset over custody arrangements and had told her he would kill either her or himself and their son if he didn’t get what he wanted.

Ranes told investigators that Savyon told her in March 2012, “You can only push someone so far before they snap. I’ve snapped,” and “I live in New Hampshire and I now have a gun. It will be you or it will be me and Joshua. You will see it on the news.”

In his email, Savyon criticized Ranes for believing in government authority and called her “a bad influence.”

“And now she will be left alone with the terrible sadness that her only son has been taken from her, a sadness that I am very familiar with,” he wrote.

Assistant Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin said the email was sent earlier in the day Aug. 11 but declined to say exactly when.

The center’s director has declined to comment on the details of the shooting but emphasized that the possibility of violence exists for all the families who use the center for supervised visits, or else they wouldn’t need to be supervised. And she said having a constant police presence would work against the center’s goal of providing a homelike atmosphere.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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