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Authorities: Mo. man suspected in double slaying chased into hotel lobby, shot and wounded
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) ' An ex-sheriff's deputy suspected in a double slaying led officers on a high-speed chase across rural Missouri to the state capital where he dashed into the lobby of an upscale hotel and was shot and wounded in an exchange of gunfire, authorities and local reports said.
Dent County Sheriff Rick Stallings said a witness reported 44-year-old Marvin Rice of Salem had shot a male and a female victim in that county on Saturday, taking a 2-year-old child with him who he then dropped off with a family member. He said authorities were alerted at 6:30 p.m. to the deaths in a rural part of the Missouri county.
Stalling's statement said law enforcement officers, tracking Rice's cell phone signal, chased the former Dent County deputy north on Missouri Highway 63. According to the statement, other law enforcement agencies were alerted and began pursuing Rice. Several attempts were made to stop Rice's vehicle using spike strips as the chase reached speeds of 100 mph, according to the local reports.
Stallings said the chase ended at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City, a prominent hotel near the Missouri state capitol, where Rice ran into the lobby and shots were traded, wounding the man. His statement released overnight did not reveal Rice's condition or how many shots were exchanged or by whom.
The News Tribune in Jefferson City said the chase crossed at least two counties besides Dent before Rice drove into the hotel's parking lot about 9:20 p.m. It was not immediately clear how long the chase lasted and authorities released few details.
A hotel representative, who declined to be further identified, told The Associated Press that no guests were hurt. One local report said a holiday party was being held at the hotel at the time, but the representative said he would not release detailed information because he was not authorized to.
"Everybody's fine; there's nobody injured" among those who were in the hotel, the representative said by telephone.
A Dent County sheriff's dispatcher, contacted by AP, declined to give details about the earlier deaths.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol, which was investigating, did not release any immediate information and its public information officer, contacted by AP, did not immediately return telephone messages seeking more details.
The hotel is located a short distance from the state capitol complex and its website indicates the hotel is a regular host to conventions and other gatherings.
Wayne Becker, a Dent County special investigator, told The Columbia Tribune that the victims' identities were not being released until relatives were notified.