JEFFERSON CITY, MO.
- A former rural Missouri sheriff's deputy is suspected of killing his ex-wife and her new boyfriend before leading officers on a high-speed chase that ended with a shootout at an upscale hotel hosting a Christmas party for hundreds of doctors, nurses and their families, authorities said yesterday.
None of the hotel's guests was injured in the Saturday-night shootout just two blocks from Missouri's capitol.
The night's drama began about 70 miles to the southeast in the rural town of Salem, where authorities say former Dent County Sheriff's Deputy Marvin Rice, 44, went to the home of his ex-wife and her current boyfriend and fatally shot them after demanding custody of his son, then fled with the 2-year-old. The shooting victims were identified yesterday as Annette Durham, 32, and Steven Strotkamp, 39.
Rice left his son at his home with his current wife, then took off again in his vehicle, police said. Authorities picked up on Rice's cellphone and a chase ensued at speeds of up to 100 mph.
The right front tire of his vehicle ran over spikes police had placed on the road near the Osage River and gradually deflated before Rice pulled into the parking lot of the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City and ran inside.
Rice was in fair condition Sunday at a Columbia hospital after being wounded in the abdomen and forearm in a shootout with a Jefferson City officer who had run into the hotel after him.
Criminal charges had not yet been filed yesterday.
Rice had worked as a road officer for the Dent County Sheriff's Office from 2004 until early 2009, when he took a job with the Missouri Department of Corrections, Becker said. A department spokesman confirmed yesterday that Rice is a correctional officer at the South Central Correctional Center in Licking.
At the Capitol Plaza Hotel yesterday the yellow police tape that had sealed off the hotel 12 hours earlier had been removed. As they checked out, the still somewhat shaken guests walked past a wall that had about eight bullet marks in it.