FLINT, MI – A promising nursing student at the University of Michigan-Flint, Gina Bryant, aged 25, met a heartbreaking end when her ex-boyfriend, 26-year-old Justin Wendling, took her life before turning the gun on himself. Bryant had been diligently pursuing her dreams of becoming a nurse, but her aspirations were cut short in a horrifying act of violence.
Bryant’s decided to end her relationship with Wendling, a resident at Ascension Genesys Hospital, just two weeks before the tragic incident. She left their shared apartment in Grand Blanc Township with the help of her mother and sister after disclosing that she had endured months of abuse.
The grim events unfolded on October 12 when Bryant, a medical assistant, went home for lunch. Alarming concerns arose among her coworkers when she failed to return from her break, and they began receiving unusual text messages from her phone. Fearing the worst, her employer filed a missing persons report, initiating a harrowing investigation.
Tragically, it was revealed that Wendling had been lying in wait at Bryant’s home for her return. Her lifeless body was discovered the following day, next to the fuel pumps at the Flying J Travel Stop along Interstate 80 and Civic Road. She had endured hours of suffering after being shot in the head, as revealed by LaSalle police.
Surveillance footage and witness accounts left no doubt that Wendling was the perpetrator, as he took Bryant’s life at around midnight on October 13. The tragic incident prompted Wendling to call his parents and confess to taking Bryant to Illinois, where he committed the heinous act. He also ominously declared his intention to take his own life.
Despite the fact that neither Bryant nor Wendling had any previous connection to the area where the crime occurred, nearly 350 miles away from their shared apartment, LaSalle police issued a nationwide alert bulletin. Wendling met his demise just hours later in Bettendorf, Iowa, when police approached his vehicle.
Ascension Genesys Hospital has pledged full cooperation with law enforcement in the wake of the tragedy, offering emotional and spiritual support to their staff and providers during this difficult time.
The UM-Flint community and those who knew Bryant have been left devastated by her untimely death. Fondly remembered as an extraordinary young woman with a bright future ahead, she had previously attended International Academy, one of Michigan’s top-ranking high schools, and graduated cum laude in 2016 from Stevenson High School in Sterling Heights. Additionally, she volunteered at the Friendship Circle, a nonprofit dedicated to assisting individuals with special needs.