August 12, 2013

Manchester N.H. YWCA acknowledges threats preceded shooting

The Associated Press

MANCHESTER, N.H. - The head of a New Hampshire YWCA where a father killed himself and his 9-year-old son during a supervised visit defended the center's security measures Monday and said the man's threats that preceded the shootings are all too common in the population it serves.

"In domestic violence, that's standard operating procedure: He says, 'I'm going to kill you and the kids,'" YWCA president Monica Zulauf said. "That is the victim we work with all the time here."

Muni Savyon, 54, shot to death his son, Joshua, and then himself Sunday while the YWCA was open for supervised visits and custody exchanges, authorities said. According to court documents, Savyon had been upset over custody arrangements with the boy's mother and had told her he would kill either her or himself and their son if he didn't get what he wanted.

Savyon had been subject to a hand-held metal detector scan for previous visits at the YWCA but was not before Sunday's shooting, authorities said Monday.

"I'd like to see 15 layers of security and safety, but people who are going to commit an act of violence ... they're going to do it," Zulauf said.

Zulauf noted that having a constant police presence would work against the center's goal of providing a homelike atmosphere.

"At some point we have to shift this off 'Did we wand this person?' to, this man came in here and killed his son. We were doing what we could do to have him visit with his child in a safe, supportive environment, and he made that decision," she said.

Born in Israel, Savyon was a naturalized citizen who worked as a software engineer. He and the boy's mother, Becky Raines, were not married and split up years ago, her lawyer said Monday.

Law enforcement officials said Savyon had previously threatened to kill all three of them. The mother was granted a protective order against him last year, attorney David Bailinson said.


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