Stover family: Fire victim was petitioning court for restraining order

Stover family: Fire victim was petitioning court for restraining order
Andrew Vincent Stover was 44
Andrew Vincent Stover was 44

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The family of Andrew Stover issued a statement to the media on Thursday, explaining some of the circumstances around the allegations he was facing, and encouraging the public to contact police if they have any information about the circumstances of his death.

Stover died in a West Lubbock house fire on Monday, Jan. 25. Lubbock fire officials say that incident is now being investigated as arson.

Lubbock police said Stover was under investigation after being accused of indecency with a child.

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The family said, "It is our understanding that the allegations of indecency with a child were made in retaliation to assault charges that Andrew had filed against the reporting party PRIOR to her allegations of indecency. It was a complicated situation and what we know for certain is that at the time of his death, Andrew was in the process of petitioning the Court to hear the matter and to issue a restraining order for his protection."

The statement describes Andrew as a "brilliant man" and a "phenomenal athlete" - as a beloved friend and family member who was "vigilant in his pursuit of knowledge, truth and justice."

We'll continue to update this story as we learn more.

Here's the complete statement released by the family on Thursday:

We are in shock after losing Andrew and would appreciate the media respecting our privacy as we mourn Andrew's death. We are working to contact all member's of the family to let them know what has happened and ask that members of the media not take it upon themselves to do this in our stead.

This is a very difficult time as we work to cope emotionally while also working to provide investigators with the information that they need to determine what happened to Andrew.

We also ask that the media be fair in their presentation of information. It is our understanding that the allegations of indecency with a child were made in retaliation to assault charges that Andrew had filed against the reporting party PRIOR to her allegations of indecency. We are awaiting firm confirmation of this before speaking on this matter. It was a complicated situation and what we know for certain is that at the time of his death, Andrew was in the process of petitioning the Court to hear the matter and to issue a restraining order for his protection.

All of this information has been provided to law enforcement. We, the family, are respecting the investigating agencies' need for time to follow all leads and ask that members of the media and the people of Lubbock do the same. Speculation and innuendo cause many problems and we wish to avoid such.

Andrew was a son, brother, father, grandfather, husband, stepfather, and friend. He was and IS loved by many. He was an absolutely brilliant man whose skills with technology were rarely rivaled.  He was a phenomenal athlete who mastered any sport he pursued. He was vigilant in his pursuit of knowledge, truth and justice. He was also an animal lover who would never stand by while an animal suffered. We know that the public is curious and we will work to answer questions as we are able. We ask that anyone with information regarding this case please contact the Lubbock Police Department and provide that to the investigator.

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