Gwinnett teens charged in the murder of grandparents

Update: The Gwinnett County police report that the SWAT activity following the alleged homicide of an elderly couple in unincorporated Lawrenceville has ended with the suspect, 19-year-old Johnny Ryder, and his girlfriend, 17-year-old Cassandra Bjorge, suffering what appeared to be self inflected gunshot wounds. The elderly couple found dead prior to the SWAT team activity were the grandparents of Cassandra Bjorge.

Gwinnett County PD report this began on the night of April 8, when they responded to a call of two victims allegedly being beaten by Ryder, who was a family member.

“Due to the injuries, warrants were obtained for Ryder. While at the scene, officers located a vehicle belonging to 63 year old Wendy and Randall Bjorge, the grandparents of Cassandra. Officers had previously been to the home of Wendy and Randall earlier in the week for welfare checks and were unable to make contact,” Gwinnett County PD Detective D.C. Smith said in a press release. “Because of the crime at hand, officers decided to again make a welfare check at their home. Officers were unable to make contact and made entry into the home. Wendy and Randall were found deceased in the upstairs area of their home. Their deaths were apparent homicides. The location of Cassandra Bjorge and Johnny Ryder were still unknown.”

Smith said that detectives and crime scene personnel worked throughout the night and received information Sunday morning that led them to the location on McGinnis Ferry Road where the SWAT team activity began.

“Officers attempted to make contact and the suspects refused to exit the apartment. The Gwinnett County SWAT team was activated. After a short time, the SWAT team made entry into the home and located the suspects suffering from self-inflicted wounds. The suspects were transported to Gwinnett Medical Center-Lawrenceville for treatment,” Smith said. “No officers were injured during the event.”

Smith said Bjorge and Ryder are under investigation for the homicides of Wendy and Randal Bjorge. He said at this time no charges for the homicide have been filed and the manner of death and motives are still unknown and pending further investigation.

Update: The Gwinnett County Police Department was in an active SWAT team situation on Sunday morning just after 11 a.m. with suspects from the death of an elderly couple in the Lawrenceville area of Unincorporated Gwinnett County. The suspects are barricaded in an apartment at 400 McGinnis Ferry Road in Suwanee, Ga. Everybody is advised to avoid the area.

(Lawrenceville, Georgia) The Gwinnett County Police Department is asking the public for help in identifying person or persons who may be implicated in the death of an elderly couple in the Lawrenceville area of unincorporated Gwinnett County.

According to a press release, the Gwinnett County 911 center received calls from family members overnight on April 8/9 of the couple asking for a welfare check at the location as they had not heard from their family members in some time.

“Uniformed Officers came to the residence and attempted to make contact. Officers entered the home to find the elderly couple deceased. The incident is being investigated as a homicide. The manner of death and possible suspect(s) are still under investigation. There is not much information as the investigation is still preliminary. The identity of the victims is being withheld pending notification to the family members,” Gwinnett County Detective D.C. Smith, public information officer said in the press release. “The Gwinnett County Police Department is committed to finding justice for this couple taken too soon from their family.

If anyone has any information to share in this case, they are asked to contact the Homicide Unit at 770 513-5300.  To remain anonymous, tipsters should contact Crime Stoppers at 404 577-TIPS (8477) or visit  Crime Stoppers tipsters can receive up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment in this case.  Case Number(s): 17-031941

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