University of Michigan-Flint Student Fatally Shot at Illinois Truck Stop

The Camden County Sheriff’s Office has released details about the fatal shooting of Gina Bryant, a 25-year-old University of Michigan-Flint student. She was allegedly killed by her former boyfriend, Dr. Justin Wendling, a medical resident at Ascension Genesys Hospital in Grand Blanc Township.

Based on the investigation, Bryant was believed to have been abducted from southeast Michigan and subsequently shot in the head at a truck stop in La Salle, Illinois. Police in LaSalle later found her body near the fuel pumps of the Flying J Travel Stop on Interstate I-80.

Justin Wendling, 26, was identified as the primary suspect. He was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Bettendorf, Iowa. His vehicle was located 85 miles away from the crime scene.

Before the incident, Bryant had reportedly lived with Wendling in Grand Blanc Township. However, following revelations of an abusive relationship, she had moved out in late September, as shared by her oldest sister, Angelica Gintner.

The LaSalle police, after identifying the victim, also became aware of a missing person report that had been filed for Bryant in Michigan. Further connections linked her disappearance with the crime scene in LaSalle.

Wendling’s association with Ascension Genesys Hospital was confirmed through a statement released by the hospital’s spokeswoman, Christine Gleason. She mentioned the hospital’s awareness of the resident’s death and stated that they were providing support to the staff and were cooperating with the law enforcement agencies.

Bryant, described as diligent in her academic pursuits, had previously attended the International Academy and later graduated from Stevenson High School in Sterling Heights in 2016. Her friend, Courtney Pefley, described her as dependable and supportive. The two had volunteered together at the Friendship Circle in West Bloomfield Township, a facility dedicated to assisting individuals with special needs.

Bryant had received a bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University in allied health sciences with a concentration in pre-physician assistant studies in December 2020. Additionally, she was enrolled in UM-Flint’s accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. The dean of the School of Nursing, Cynthia McCurren, sent an email to the university community expressing her condolences and highlighting Bryant’s potential and contributions.

Chris Morris
Author: Chris Morris

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