Mother of two killed in murder-suicide

Heidi Ferguson was murdered by her estranged husband, says Orangeville Police. (Facebook photo)

Heidi Ferguson was murdered by her estranged husband, says Orangeville Police. (Facebook photo)

ROB LAMBERTI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:50 AM ET

ORANGEVILLE -- A mom of two teens apparently wanted to cut ties with her estranged husband and move on with her life.

But her plans ended when he instead went to her rented home and shot her. As she fought for her life in hospital, the man faced off against police before turning a gun on himself, cops say.

The 39-year-old woman, identified by friends and neighbours as Heidi Ferguson, ran to her neighbour's home on Westdale Ave. to get help after being shot late Friday.

Her ex-husband, identified by neighbours as Hugh, 42, then fled to his home in Mono Twp. north of the town where he barricaded himself in the house for several hours before killing himself.

While she was airlifted to Sunnybrook hospital, where she later died, Hugh hunkered down against an OPP tactical team.

The hunter, who had about 10 firearms in the home, shot out the tires of an OPP van, neighbours said. The standoff ended just before 6 a.m. when police confirmed Hugh was dead.

Friends and neighbours said the couple had been separated since about last fall, but maintained an amicable relationship.

Neighbours of the couple's Mono home on Madill Dr., which is up for private sale, say the couple hosted a party two weeks ago for the lacrosse team their high school son, 13-year-old Connor, plays on.

The couple also have another teen, daughter Courtney, now at university.

But a source said Heidi, who owned Suite Dreams Designs, an interior design firm, apparently wanted to cut ties and move on in her life.

Heidi had worked as a designer for the subdivision's developer, including the family home now on sale.

"It's kind of hard to believe," said a friend who didn't want to be named. "There were no signs." He said he last saw Hugh Thursday night, and "he seemed a little bit cooler, which is unlike him," adding the man was usually upbeat emotionally.

When the friend realized Hugh killed himself, he thought "he went into a funk and shot himself."

He said he was stunned when he was told the man had killed Heidi as well.

Neighbour Bob Bovaird and his wife Carolyn said Hugh apparently lost a job a few months ago and then worked for his ex-wife's firm.

Also, about a month ago, his golden Lab died, they said.

"He was always friendly and waved," Carolyn said.

The neighbourhood of one-acre lots was locked down by OPP who urged residents to either leave or stay in the basement until the standoff ended.

"It's a terrible thing," said Teresa Simms, who lives across the street from the home rented by Heidi in Orangeville. "It's the last thing I expected here."

Simms said she heard shots: "I heard three or four, but I'm not 100% sure on that either."

She first thought the sounds to have been area kids playing.

The Special Investigations Unit is investigating.

ROB.LAMBERTI@SUNMEDIA.CA


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