An off-duty California Highway Patrol officer reportedly fatally shot his wife and then himself Monday night at a strip mall near Jackson, the Amador County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday morning.
Deputies responded to a 911 call about 10:45 p.m. Monday from the owner of Get Ripped Nutrition in Martell, a community north of Jackson, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office that referred to the two deaths as a possible “murder-suicide.”
Shots were being fired as deputies arrived on scene, and two deceased individuals were found in the parking lot outside the strip mall, according to the news release. A third person, identified as the owner of the nutrition store, reportedly had a gunshot wound to the shoulder following a struggle involving all three, sheriff’s officials said.
According to an initial investigation by detectives, the surviving victim and an unrelated witness said that a man was banging on the door of Get Ripped before firing a gun into the store window and entering.
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The altercation moved to the parking lot, the news release says, where the man reportedly died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after shooting the woman multiple times.
“The husband shot his wife several times in the parking lot resulting in her death before turning the handgun on himself,” the news release says.
The news release identifies the deceased as Brad Wheat, 45, and his wife Mary Wheat, 42, both of Sutter Creek.
An investigation is ongoing, Sheriff Martin A. Ryan said, and no suspects are sought in the shooting.
The news release and Ryan confirmed that Wheat was an off-duty CHP officer, with about two years of experience at CHP’s Amador office, based in Jackson. Wheat was relatively well-known among residents and local law enforcement.
Mary Wheat owned a CrossFit business near Martell, Ryan said, and was also well-known within the community.
Ryan called the incident “tragic,” and said it was his understanding they had at least one child, but he did not know further details.
“It’s a tough thing for the community as a whole,” Ryan said.
According to a 2007 feature in the Colfax Record, Wheat attended the CHP Academy at 34. His father, Lloyd “Buck” Wheat, retired from CHP in 2002.
Multiple internet search results show a Mary Wheat as the owner of CrossFit Ruggededge in Sutter Creek, about a half-mile from the Get Ripped store.
“Just a horrible, unfortunate thing,” Ryan said.