Deputies probing murder / suicide

John Ford

Newton County deputies are investigating an apparent murder/suicide that took place this morning.

Sheriff Ken Copeland said the incident began at about 9:15 a.m. today when a man in his 60s allegedly kidnapped his ex-girlfriend at gunpoint, forcing her to drive him to a business near the intersection of Route FF and Brookside Drive near the border of Newton and Jasper counties.

“He released her at that point and went inside the business,” Copeland said.

Once inside, the man, a former employee of the business, allegedly confronted a 23-year-old man, the son of the business owner, the sheriff said. The younger man called his father, who arrived at the scene and ordered the former employee to leave. The man refused, and the business owner called the sheriff.

“Next, he saw a muzzle blast,” Copeland said. “We arrived, surrounded the building, and saw two bullet holes in a window.”

The officers tried to make contact with someone inside the business, getting no reply. Fearing someone was in need of medical attention, Copeland said, deputies entered. Inside, they found the bodies of the young man and the suspect.

“He apparently shot the 23-year-old with one shot and then shot himself once,” Copeland said.

The sheriff said a .38 caliber handgun was used in the incident. Copeland said he would identify the victim and suspect later today, as next of kin had not been notified as of 11:15 a.m. this morning.

Neosho Daily News