Professor killed in home invasion

April 7th, 2010 by

PLANTATION, Fla. (WSVN) – Police are investigating the death of a prominent scientist, while those who knew him mourn his loss.

Police said, at around 12:34 Tuesday morning, an intruder stormed into the home of Dr. Joseph Morrissey, 46, along Northwest Sixth Court and 75th Terrace and tied up and robbed him and his wife. “A male entered the residence and robbed the couple at gunpoint. They were bound inside the residence,” said Plantation Police detective Robert Rettig. The couple’s five-year-old child was sleeping in another room when the incident occurred.

Morrissey was a professor at Nova Southeastern University. Neighbors told 7 News that the doctor may have been forced to take the robber to an ATM. “I’m in shock because I’m right across the street,” said Byron Adino. “I heard some shots, I would say maybe around 1 a.m.”

Investigators said the robbers then set the home on fire before fleeing the scene. A gas can was recovered outside the front of the home. When firefighters arrived on the scene to extinguish the blaze, they discovered the victims inside the home. “We did find the home involved in fire. Upon searching the house we found a victim who was deceased on the back patio, and there was also a woman in the home and a small child,” said Plantation Fire Battalion Chief Joel Gordon.

The mom banged on neighbors’ homes for help. “She said that they gave them everything what they had. So, why did they kill him,” Adino questioned.

Morrissey was only teaching at Nova for about 11 months, but he was known and respected all around the world. Students and faculty mourned the loss of the doctor Tuesday. “This is a family. All the professors and all the students here, we’re a family,” said Nova student Michael Carney.

Morrissey was an assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy. “As he started with us, he became very well liked, and the faculty just embraced him,” said the Dean of the College of Pharmacy, Andres Malave. “Very quiet individual, very passionate about his research.”

Before he began teaching at Nova , Morrissey was a senior scientist for Mortorola. His research on how radio frequencies and heat affects cancer cells is world-renowned. “In terms as a promising scientist and what he meant to us for the future, it was big. It translated to the fact that we thought we had a great team with him, in terms of cancer research,” Malave stated.

Morrissey leaves behind his wife and two sons. If you have any information on his death, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.

One Response

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