Murder Suspect Commits Suicide
Jefferson City police say 44-year old James Ahart shot his ex-wife Cynthia Ahart at about 8 p.m. Monday night and then barricaded himself in his apartment. Twelve hours later, police found him dead.
The standoff is over, but the tragedy is still sinking in with neighbors and those who knew James and Cynthia Ahart.
"It's a real nice neighborhood," said Steven Busby, Cynthia Ahart's neighbor. "We've got kids playing around here all the time; I grew up here. I've lived in this house for 24 years."
Neighbors like Busby are trying to figure out why Cynthia Ahart is dead and why police charged James Ahart with shooting her on the front lawn of the home they once shared. Police said that Ahart drove to his Cole County apartment after the shooting and refused to come out throughout the night.
"Gas was actually entered into the apartment to get the suspect to come out and he did not respond," Public Information Officer Paul Reinsch said.
Police entered the apartment and found James Ahart dead in a bedroom at approximately 8:20 this morning.
Neighbors at the Southern Hills Apartments say Ahart moved in less than a year ago.
"Seemed like a nice... I've met him seen him out a couple of times, seemed like a real nice guy," neighbor Jeff Brunette said.
More than 50 officers worked the standoff.
"Never really seen the cops out here before," Brunette said.
James and Cynthia Ahart had one child together; Cynthia had three other children from a previous marriage.