Cops seeking tips in home invasion homicide

NORCROSS — Bryan Ritzert’s roommates heard a commotion in the wee hours of Monday, but didn’t think anything of it. At about 5:15 a.m., they found his body.

Gwinnett County police responded to a burglary call at 910 Falling Water Lane in unincorporated Norcross that morning and found Ritzert, 27, lying on the floor of a downstairs common room with blood coming from his chest. A single shell casing on the ground near the door to the room, there were also signs of forced entry into the home.

Ritzert died from an apparent gunshot wound.

“Ritzert’s roommates reported hearing a commotion during the overnight hours, but did not discover the crime until later,” police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said. An incident report lists five total people as living at the residence.

Robbery is a possible motive, Smith said, but investigators had not made a final conclusion as of Friday.

“Detectives are actively working the case and are seeking information from any and all sources,” Smith said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Gwinnett County police at 770-513-5300 or Crime Stoppers at 404-557-TIPS. Tipsters for the latter are eligible for a $2,000 reward should their information lead to an arrest and conviction.

In an obituary published in the Daily Post, Ritzert was described as an “admirable stepson” and “protective brother.”

“Bryan enjoyed spending his time outdoors fishing, hiking and exploring nature,” the obituary said. “He prided himself in his ability to make others laugh and smile.”