- Associated Press - Sunday, December 11, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A former sheriff’s deputy is suspected of killing his ex-wife and her new boyfriend Saturday before leading officers on a high-speed chase that ended with a shootout at an upscale hotel hosting a Christmas party, authorities said Sunday.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol identified the victims as 32-year-old Annette Durham of Salem and 39-year-old Steven Strotkamp.

The suspected shooter — former Dent County Sheriff’s Deputy Marvin Rice — was in fair condition at University Hospital in Columbia after being wounded in the shootout.

Dent County Sheriff Rick Stallings earlier said a witness reported that Mr. Rice, 44, of Salem shot a man and a woman on Saturday and then took a 2-year-old child, whom he dropped off with a family member. Sheriff Stallings said authorities were alerted at 6:30 p.m. to the deaths in a rural part of the county.

Sheriff Stalling’s statement said law enforcement officers, tracking Mr. Rice’s cellphone signal, chased the former law enforcement officer north on Missouri Highway 63. Other law enforcement agencies were alerted and also began pursuing Mr. Rice. Several attempts were made to stop Mr. Rice’s vehicle using spike strips as the chase reached speeds of 100 mph, according to local news reports.

Sheriff Stallings said the chase ended at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City, a prominent hotel near the Missouri state Capitol. Mr. Rice parked in the hotel’s parking lot and ran into the lobby, where shots were traded. Sheriff Stallings did not say how many shots were fired or by whom.

KMIZ-TV reported an officer from the Jefferson City Police Department and a Cole County deputy both fired shots. The station said the officers weren’t injured but will be on paid leave while the incident is investigated.

The News Tribune in Jefferson City said the chase crossed at least two counties besides Dent before Mr. Rice arrived at the hotel about 9:20 p.m. It was not immediately clear how long the chase lasted, and authorities released few details.

A hotel manager, who declined to give his name, told the Associated Press that no guests were hurt. KMIZ reported a medical group was having a holiday party at the hotel during the shootout, but the manager said he was not authorized to discuss that.

“Everybody’s fine; there’s nobody injured” among those who were in the hotel, he said by telephone.

The hotel is a short distance from the state Capitol complex, and its website indicates it’s a regular host to conventions and other gatherings.



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