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Bonne Terre shootings

11:45 AM, Dec 1, 2010   |    comments
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Bonne Terre, Mo. (KSDK) -- A fifth person has been found dead in connection to Tuesday's triple-murder and suicide in Bonne Terre, according to St. Francois County Coroner Jim Coplin.

The coroner said the latest victim was a friend or acquaintance of at least one of the Bonne Terre victims.

The Washington County Sheriff said they received information from St. Francois County Sheriff's Department that there may be a body at an abandoned farm off Doc Wallen Road around 7:30 a.m. They went there and found Ericka Wade's body.

Authorities have not released information about how the Wade died. The Washington County Coroner's Office plans to conduct an autopsy later this morning.

The Bismarck Police Chief said Wade's car was found in an alley off Spring, which is right uner the water tower in Bismarck.

Four people died in a murder-suicide at a housing complex in Bonne Terre, Missouri.  Family of the victims said it was a 19-year-old woman's ex-boyfriend who went on this killing spree before turning the gun on himself.

The shootings happened around 10:00 a.m. in the Boulder Creek neighborhood at Raider and Boulder Road. 

Bonne Terre Police Chief Douglas Calvert said he was initially called to the home at 113 Boulder Drive for a disturbance call.  A man was reportedly trying to kick in the door and a female was heard screaming in the background.

Chief Calvert said he was the first to arrive at the home.  He watched as a white male ran from the home and waited for backup to arrive.

Bonne Terre shootings - PHOTOS

Upon approaching the home, Chief Calvert saw a 35-year-old white male lying unconscious in the front doorway.  He was later identified as Derek Nash.

A child was in the house, and the chief lifted the three-year-old boy into his arms before handing them off to one of his other officers.  The child was unharmed. 

A further search of the house revealed a 37-year-old woman dead in a bedroom, identified as Christine Snider, Nash's girlfriend.

A third female victim, 19-year-old Danielle Bement, was found inside a black SUV outside the home.  An 18-month-old child found inside the vehicle was not hurt.  Calvert said it appeared the woman may have died while trying to protect the child.  Bement was Snider's daughter.

Amanda Snider said her step-sister, Danielle Bement, had just ended her relationship with 25-year-old Nathan Fortner.  And as she explains, it was not the first time Danielle tried ending things, but sadly it was the last.

"She was a great mom, she just got her first job, and Nathan's always been crazy," said Snider.

Bement lived with Snider her until last week.  She said Bement moved into her mother's duplex in Bonne Terre and was ending her engagement to Nathan Fortner, the father of their 18-month-old son, Cameron.

Police officers pursued the man seen running from the home and ordered him to drop his weapon.  He used his gun to fatally shoot himself.  Fortner was later identified as the shooter.

Snider believes Fortner went to the home to take Cameron.

"I think he went there and was going to shoot anyone who got in his way and take Cameron, and once he got caught he'd kill himself," said Snider .

Both children found at the scene were placed in the custody of the Division of Family Services until they can be placed with family members.

Calvert said it is not clear what led to the shootings.

"This is a tragic event it's not something that normally happens in the city of Bonne Terre...it's not something that normally happens in any city," he said.

Amanda said she's trying to get custody of the 18-month-old and her 11-year-old half brother, who lived at the duplex with mother Chrsitine Snider. Snider said her brother was at school when the shootings happened.

"(Nathan) would snap all the time, and I would tell her she needs to leave him, but she'd go right back to him.  And I guess she tried to leave him again, and she's dead," said Snider.

The Washington County Sheriff said Wade, Fortner and Danielle Bement all went ot Bismarck High School.

Samantha McDowell said she is one of the co-owners of the Boulder Creek community.  She said it is a quiet neighborhood and she was not aware of any trouble prior to the shootings.  She said she knew the people who lived at the residence, but did not know if they were the victims.

Nearby North County High School went into lockdown after the shooting, but that lockdown was lifted at 10:30 a.m. after authorities determined the danger was over.

The school is located at 7151 Raider Road, roughly a quarter to half mile from where the shooting occurred.  The district sent out an alert message to all parents and guardians in their automatic alert system.  Parents were notified by text, e-mail and by phone.

The complex is made up of 12 separate buildings, each a duplex.

Bonne Terre is about 45 minutes southwest of St. Louis.

KSDK

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