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Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Gainesville man kidnaps, threatens to fatally shoot girlfriend

The man texted his girlfriend expressing suicidal thoughts, then turned on her

A Gainesville man threatened to kill his girlfriend and confined her in their house after expressing suicidal thoughts through text Monday morning. 

Ronald Schol Jr., a 49-year-old Gainesville resident, is being charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment, according to court records. Schol was arrested on scene and was booked into the Alachua County Jail at 5:24 Monday morning.

On Monday at 2:40 a.m., Gainesville Police Department responded to a text from the victim, Karen Rich, who expressed fear that her boyfriend was threatening to kill her and himself, according to the arrest report.

Schol had sent multiple text messages to his girlfriend suggesting suicidal thoughts Sunday. When Rich returned to their shared home, the two began arguing about the texts, and Rich told Schol she was going to pack a bag and leave, the arrest report shows.

The couple had been in a romantic relationship for three weeks.

Schol told her he was not going to allow her to leave, threatening to use an assault rifle he had to “blow her head off,” the arrest report reveals.

Rich told police she feared for her life so she ran to her bedroom and began texting GPD for help. While doing so, Schol locked a door in the hallway outside of the bedroom, blocking Rich’s exit path. 

Even after multiple attempts to open the door, Rich couldn’t escape, according to the arrest  report. Schol was reported to be on the other side of the door, staring at Rich through the glass.

Several minutes passed, and a witness who also lives at the house was able to exit and open the back door from the outside. Rich was able to get out and be taken to safety by GPD deputies.

After being read his Miranda Rights — rights read by police to criminal suspects in police custody — Schol denied threatening to harm his girlfriend or anyone else. He also denied preventing Rich from escaping their residence, according to the arrest report.

Contact Lily Kino at Follow her on Twitter @lily_kino

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Lily Kino

Lily is a third-year journalism major with a concentration in environmental science covering criminal justice for The Alligator. Last semester, she served as the Santa Fe reporter. When she's not writing, you can find Lily on a nature walk, eating Domino's Pizza or spending time with her friends.

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