Shooter kills child, wounds mother before suicide

Police are piecing together the facts surrounding shots fired Thursday night at Taylor Sportsplex that sent a mother and her daughter to the hospital and ended when the gunman killed himself.

Police are piecing together the facts surrounding shots fired Thursday night at Taylor Sportsplex that sent a mother and her daughter to the hospital and ended when the gunman killed himself.

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR – Police Friday morning were piecing together the facts surrounding shots fired Thursday night that took the life of a 7-year-old Belleville girl before the shooter allegedly took his own life.

Emma Watson Nowling died late Thursday from gunshot injuries. The girl’s mother, Sharon Watson, 37, was also shot during the assault at Taylor Sportsplex, 1333 Telegraph Road, and remained in critical condition Friday.

Taylor Police Chief Mary Sclabassi said shots were fired about 7:50 p.m. Thursday in the complex parking lot. Emma had just completed soccer practice.

The 57-year-old shooter, Timothy Nelson Obsershaw of Taylor, dropped the two off – and was reportedly seen in the facility – before allegedly shooting both mother and daughter before shooting himself.

Witnesses, including a coach, said Obsershaw was inside the facility during the girl’s practice, and afterward followed them to the parking lot.

Photo courtesy of the Taylor Police Department. Sharon Watson (left) and Emma Watson Nowling.

Photo courtesy of the Taylor Police Department. Sharon Watson (left) and Emma Watson Nowling.

Obsershaw was pronounced dead at the scene, and investigators located a 9-millimeter handgun. Emma was transported first to Beaumont Hospital – Taylor before being airlifted to Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor. Sharon Watson remained in serious but stable condition at Beaumont.

Sclabassi said the investigation continued late Friday to clarify any possible motive.

Obershaw was a friend of the family, Sclabassi said, and had been staying with them in Belleville before a recent move to Taylor.

Witnesses and family members told police that Obershaw had become mentally unstable in the past year, and believed that “someone was trying to perform mind control on him,” Sclabassi said Friday.

Obsershaw registered the handgun used in September 2015 in Belleville.

(James Mitchell can be reached at james.a.mitchell37@gmail.com.)

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