Husband released from jail Monday accused of killing wife at nur - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

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Husband released from jail Monday accused of killing wife at nursing home

Zeljka Sekulic was fatally shot at the Astoria Nursing Home in Canton. (Source: WOIO) Zeljka Sekulic was fatally shot at the Astoria Nursing Home in Canton. (Source: WOIO)
Suspect Dragan Sekulic was captured near Cambridge, OH within five hours of the shooting. (Source: Stark County Sheriff's Office) Suspect Dragan Sekulic was captured near Cambridge, OH within five hours of the shooting. (Source: Stark County Sheriff's Office)
Stark County Sheriff George Maier held a press conference hours after the incident to provide an update on the investigation. (Source: WOIO) Stark County Sheriff George Maier held a press conference hours after the incident to provide an update on the investigation. (Source: WOIO)
CANTON, OH (WOIO) -

A dangerous suspect was captured after a deadly shooting Wednesday morning at a Canton nursing home.

Deputies were called to the Astoria Nursing Home on 12th Street NW around 7:45 a.m. Deputies said when they arrived at the scene, they found Zeljka Sekulic, 37, of Massillon, shot to death in the parking lot.

Dragan Sekulic, Zeljka's estranged husband, was arrested hours later after an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper saw him travelling on Interstate 77 southbound near Cambridge, Ohio.

One of Dragan Sekulic's neighbors in Akron, who did not want to be identified, was shocked to hear he'd been let out of jail.

"I'd seen cops over there last week, but I didn’t know what was going on," she said.

The couple was estranged and Zeljka Sekulic lived in Massillon with her two daughters. Neighbors tell us their aunt is watching them now.

"Oh, they’re wonderful girls. It’s just a sad, sad thing, never should have happened," said another neighbor who did not want to be identified.

Many of Zeljka’s neighbors turned off their Christmas lights out of respect for her family. 

"She was a very wonderful mother and person, we enjoyed just seeing her. And a very hard worker and we just will miss her. And we’re very saddened from the whole thing," the neighbor said.

 The nursing home's owner says Zeljka worked at Astoria and was a dedicated employee.

"We lost a member of our family this morning," said Michael Slyk, co-owner of the nursing home. "Like most of you, it really caught us by surprise. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and those people who were affected by this."

"This is an unfortunate incident here in our community," said Stark County Sheriff George Maier.

The Arrest:

Deputies said Dragan Sekulic fled the shooting scene in a GMC Terrain with Kentucky registration, but Sheriff Maier said he changed vehicles before being arrested. The vehicle that he fled in originally was a rental vehicle. Agencies found it at the Akron-Canton Airport.

"We received information from a family member that he had rented a vehicle," said Maier.

According to the sheriff, Sekulic was pulled over in a Chevrolet Malibu that was registered to him. He said a gun was found in the vehicle, but it is unknown if it was the weapon used in the shooting.

Past Problems:

Officials say on Nov. 24, Sekulic was arrested for felonious assault and other charges after he rammed his car into his wife's car. It was such a violent crash that it snapped a utility pole in half and took out a fire hydrant. He was arrested that night and just posted bond on Monday. He had been locked up since the ramming until less than 48 hours ago.

"It's a sad state of affairs any time when you have domestic violence and the domestic violence leads to an innocent victim," Sheriff Maier said, urging victims of domestic violence to get the help they need and take every precaution necessary.

Maier said there was no protection order filed. However, there was a no contact order, which is standard as a result of the bond.

The suspect and victim had two children together.

"They're going through a lot, as you can imagine. They lost their mother today. They lost their father today. And they're probably in a whirlwind of where their life's going," said Maier.

Detectives are still combing the scene for evidence. Those inside the skilled nursing facility are deeply shaken.

"This has nothing to do with Astoria itself. It looks to us to be, from the little information we have, that this was an outside issue that, unfortunately, unfolded in our staff parking lot this morning," said Slyk.

No patients were injured. Maier said the suspect never went inside the building, which was put into lockdown quickly after the shooting.

According to Maier, Sekulic is currently at the Guernsey County Jail and will be extradited back to Stark County soon.

Anyone with more information that could help detectives is asked to call the Stark County Sheriff’s Office at (330) 430-3800 or the anonymous crime tip line at (330) 451-3937.

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