Who Was Gina Bryant? Michigan-Flint Nursing Student Kidnapped and Shot Dead by Doctor Ex-Boyfriend in Horrific Murder Suicide

Bryant had been in a relationship with Wendling for less than a year, starting in August 2022, before the tragic incident took place.

A University of Michigan-Flint student was shot dead after being abducted and killed by her ex-boyfriend, who then turned the pistol on himself. Gina Bryant, 25, who was studying to be a nurse, was tragically killed by her boyfriend, Dr. Justin Wendling, 26, who worked as a resident at Ascension Genesys Hospital, last week.

Bryant was killed by Wendling at a gas station in La Salle, Illinois, on Oct. 13, the Macomb according to the County Sheriff's Office. Wendling shot her in the head before turning the gun on himself. Two weeks before her death, Bryant left the relationship and the apartment she shared with Wendling in Grand Blanc Township.

Tragic Death

Gina Bryant
Gina Bryant X

According to her mother and sister, they helped Bryant in the moving process after she disclosed that Wendling had subjected her to months of abuse. Bryant had been in a relationship with Wendling for less than a year, starting in August 2022, before the tragic incident took place.

"It's with a heavy heart that we write this post," Charlotte Jolly, who described herself as Bryant's best friend, wrote on Facebook. "The family has suffered an unspeakable and tragic loss due to domestic violence."

Gina Bryant
Gina Bryant Facebook

La Salle Detective Sgt. Brian Camenisch confirmed that Wendling, who worked as a medical resident at Ascension Genesys Hospital in Grand Blanc Township, "was responsible for the homicide based on our investigation," the Detroit News reported.

Bryant was reported missing on October 12 after her co-workers became worried after she didn't return to work as a medical assistant following her lunch break. They also received unusual messages from her phone, as indicated by the Macomb County Sheriff's Office.

An investigation conducted by the sheriff's office disclosed that Wendling had been waiting for Bryant at her home when she returned for lunch. Surveillance footage from a neighbor's camera captured the moment he led her to his car at 1:42 p.m. on that day.

The day after the incident, Wendling allegedly contacted his parents and informed them that he had killed his ex-girlfriend and was contemplating taking his own life.

Gina Bryant
Gina Bryant Facebook

Upon receiving this distressing information, his parents quickly notified the authorities of Wendling's whereabouts in LaSalle, his hometown.

Grim Discovery

The following day, Bryant's lifeless body was found next to the fuel pumps at the Flying J Travel Stop located along Interstate 80 and Civic Road. She had remained there for several hours after suffering a gunshot wound to the head, as reported by LaSalle police.

Gina Bryant
Gina Bryant Facebook

According to law enforcement, surveillance footage and witnesses confirmed that Wendling had killed Bryant at around midnight on October 13.

Police were alerted to the situation after Wendling allegedly phoned his parents and revealed that he had taken Bryant to Illinois and committed the crime.

"Tragically, surveillance video and witnesses from a truck stop in LaSalle, Ill., confirmed that the suspect had shot and killed the victim at approximately 12:00 a.m. on 10/13/2023," the sheriff's office said.

"The suspect then fled to Bettendorf, Iowa. It was reported to the MCSO that as local officers approached the vehicle, the suspect shot and killed himself," police added.

Neither Bryant nor Wendling had any previous ties to the area where the shooting took place, which was nearly 350 miles southwest of their apartment, according to the police.

In late September, Bryant's mother and sister helped her in relocating from the apartment. This decision was made after Bryant confided in them that she had been enduring months of abuse from Wendling, as reported by the outlet.

"She was very beautiful, down-to-earth, giving woman," Gintner said. "She could brighten up a day with just her smile. She'd give you the shirt off your back. She was caring and compassionate."

Gina Bryant
Gina Bryant Facebook

Upon learning of Wendling's flight, LaSalle police issued a nationwide alert bulletin. However, within hours, Wendling was found dead in his car in Bettendorf, Iowa, just before midnight on October 14. A gunshot was heard as the officers approached him.

A spokesperson for Ascension Genesys Hospital said that the hospital is fully cooperating with law enforcement in the matter. Additionally, emotional and spiritual support services are being offered to staff and providers at the hospital during this difficult time.

After her tragic death, those who knew Bryant expressed their condolences and posted tributes in her memory online.

"There are truly no words to fully capture the anguish that losses like this cause our community," UM-Flint School of Nursing Dean Cynthia McCurren said in a statement.

Bryant attended the International Academy, a high school ranked as the third best in Michigan by the U.S. News & World Report. She completed her senior year at Stevenson High School in Sterling Heights, graduating cum laude in 2016.

Additionally, the 25-year-old dedicated her time to volunteering at the Friendship Circle, a nonprofit organization that provides support to individuals with special needs.