Four People Killed in Idaho Bar Shooting
NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS
Oct. 25, 2003
OLDTOWN, Idaho (AP) _ A man fatally shot his ex-girlfriend and three other people in a small-town tavern, then killed himself hours later as sheriff's deputies approached him in his car, authorities said.
The shooting Friday at the Stateline Bar apparently stemmed from a dispute between the suspect, Ralph Reeves, 51, and the ex-girlfriend.
Bonner County Sheriff Phil Jarvis said deputies from Pend Oreille and Bonner counties had the car under surveillance for some time Friday night and ``as we approached, the man shot and killed himself.''
Reeves, 51, was homeless and lived in his gray Ford Crown Victoria, the sheriff said.
Oldtown, a community of about 200, sits along the Idaho-Washington border, about 50 miles north of Spokane, Wash., and about 40 miles from Canada.
The four victims, whose identities were being withheld pending notification of relatives, were shot between 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Friday, Jarvis said.
Other people in the tavern at the time were not hurt, the sheriff said.
One witness said he noticed nothing unusual until the shooting began.
``It all happened behind me ... I thought, `What idiot is shooting blanks in here?''' said Earl Hunt in Saturday's edition of The Spokesman-Review newspaper. ``Except they weren't blanks.''
Greg Cavanaugh, a friend who let Reeves park a trailer on his property and stay there periodically, said Reeves told him several times he was suicidal.
``Life wasn't always the greatest for him,'' Cavanaugh told The Spokesman-Review.
The tavern, just off U.S. Highway 2, has a pool table and dart board. It isn't known for rowdiness, said Alvin Lindley of Oldtown. ``This one is normally quiet,'' he said.