Update: Neighbors say shooting victims gave suspect 'chance after chance'

1 year 4 days 16 hours ago Thursday, November 09 2017 Nov 9, 2017 Thursday, November 09, 2017 11:13:00 AM CST November 09, 2017 in News
By: Tara Lang, Blythe Nebeker, James Packard, Annie Hammock, Sydney Kalich and Nick Allen KOMU 8
loading

LAKE OZARK - A Rolla man is accused of two murders and a long list of other crimes in a Lake Ozark shooting.

The shooting happened Wednesday at an RV Park on Wood River Road in Miller County. The victims are Jim and Sherri Parker, according to police. 

The Miller County Prosecutor's Office charged Gary Sweet, 58, with two counts of first-degree murder, four counts of armed criminal action and two counts of assault or attempted assault. All are felonies.

According to the probable cause statement filed Thursday, police responded to the park shortly after midnight Wednesday. When they arrived they found a man who had been shot but survived, and his wife who told officers gunshots had come through the walls of their RV.

Police later found two victims dead inside the park's office building, which has living quarters on the upper floor. Both were lying in bed with gunshot wounds, and officers said the door had apparently been forced open.

"Awesome people, just awesome people. And then we became very good friends. If you needed anything, they were right there, always willing to help," said Pattie Hughes, a tenant of the park owned by the victims. 

Court documents said police obtained surveillance video showing a man matching Sweet's description entering and exiting the office/home building at the park before approaching an RV and shooting at it.

Witnesses identified Sweet as the suspect and said the victims managed the RV park on behalf of the owner. They also told police Sweet had been a former tenant at the park but was evicted in October.

Park resident, Kelly Love, described the suspect as a "belligerent" drunk who caused problems within the park.

"Well he would over drink, and he would just get belligerent I mean they gave him every chance- alright, no drinking on golf cart. You have to say it in your campground site. Now you have to drink in the house," Love said. " They did not just come up one day and say you’re out of here. They tried to give him chance after chance after chance.”

At around 8 a.m. on Wednesday, a state trooper went to Sweet's home in Phelps County, where Sweet allegedly said he'd been at his house when the shootings happened. The trooper found Sweet's truck was still warm, suggesting it had been recently driven.

Investigators also determined Sweet's phone had been in the Lake Ozark area at the time of the shootings, not in Phelps County. They further found shotgun shells at Sweet's home matching the type found at the RV park, as well as a hoodie similar to the one seen on the person in the surveillance video.

Several agencies responded to the scene, including the Mid-Missouri Major Crimes Unit.

A resident of the RV park said he was sleeping at 1:30 and got a knock on the door.

"We opened up the door, there was a cop out there," Allen Moudy said. "He said there has been a shooting that we needed to go and lock our doors and get back in. He said, 'I got to get in your trailer to check and make sure that he isn’t in here.'”

Brandon Mize, a tenant of the park, said his son originally heard gunshots at 12:30.

"We told him at that point it;s probably just someone who had a blow out on the highway. Probably within five minutes after that we heard the other gunshots," Maize said. "My biggest concern was the safety of my family, so just in the moment you don’t really have time to think you just react.”

The Lake Ozark Police Department said Wednesday it did not have reason to believe the community was at any risk.

Moudy said the park is typically a very safe place to be.

"It’s very peaceful, very calm. I don’t even lock my doors out here. Everyone is camping, everyone has a good time. Kids are out here,” he said.

(Editor's note: this story has been updated with new information from court documents filed by the Miller County Prosecutor's Office)

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The community will get a chance to learn more about autism Wednesday morning. The annual Columbia Autism... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 4:08:00 AM CST November 14, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Columbia plow drivers will be participating in the annual dry snow run to practice routes for the upcoming... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 3:54:00 AM CST November 14, 2018 in Top Stories
BOSTON (AP) - World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) today revealed its nominees for the “10 Worst Toys of... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, November 13 2018 Nov 13, 2018 Tuesday, November 13, 2018 7:54:00 PM CST November 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Almeta Crayton Community Program will be expanding its annual "Everybody Eats" Thanksgiving community to more locations. ... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, November 13 2018 Nov 13, 2018 Tuesday, November 13, 2018 7:24:00 PM CST November 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia is delivering an annual citizen’s survey to a random sample of households. The... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, November 13 2018 Nov 13, 2018 Tuesday, November 13, 2018 6:58:00 PM CST November 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Ryan Howard, a University of Missouri senior, is getting ready to head home for Thanksgiving break. But, his... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, November 13 2018 Nov 13, 2018 Tuesday, November 13, 2018 6:29:00 PM CST November 13, 2018 in News
MONROE COUNTY - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is looking for a 23-year-old woman from St. Louis. A park... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, November 13 2018 Nov 13, 2018 Tuesday, November 13, 2018 5:39:00 PM CST November 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Tuesday night a Columbia committee rejected the Kroenke Group's attempt for a city code variance at the former... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, November 13 2018 Nov 13, 2018 Tuesday, November 13, 2018 4:10:00 PM CST November 13, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker says her office will not prosecute most marijuana possession cases.... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, November 13 2018 Nov 13, 2018 Tuesday, November 13, 2018 3:19:43 PM CST November 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – After several years of legal battles that culminated in $884,000 worth of legal fees, Trinity Lutheran Church celebrated... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, November 13 2018 Nov 13, 2018 Tuesday, November 13, 2018 1:46:00 PM CST November 13, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Two men were arrested and charged with second-degree burglary and stealing from Lange Middle School in Columbia. ... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, November 13 2018 Nov 13, 2018 Tuesday, November 13, 2018 1:29:00 PM CST November 13, 2018 in News
FULTON - A woman said she plans to hire a lawyer to investigate an incident at Bush Elementary School in... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, November 13 2018 Nov 13, 2018 Tuesday, November 13, 2018 1:16:00 PM CST November 13, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Catholic Church's leader said Tuesday he wanted to set a code of conduct for... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, November 13 2018 Nov 13, 2018 Tuesday, November 13, 2018 10:40:00 AM CST November 13, 2018 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Tuesday named fellow Republican state Treasurer Eric Schmitt to replace... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, November 13 2018 Nov 13, 2018 Tuesday, November 13, 2018 10:29:00 AM CST November 13, 2018 in News
POPLAR BLUFF (AP) — A southern Missouri school district has suspended a teacher who oversaw a class presentation in which... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, November 13 2018 Nov 13, 2018 Tuesday, November 13, 2018 9:59:39 AM CST November 13, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- After running a year-long competition that drew interest from hundreds of cities and a number of states, Amazon... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 13 2018 Nov 13, 2018 Tuesday, November 13, 2018 9:31:36 AM CST November 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – New federal guidelines stress that any type of physical activity helps improve health. The new guidelines are... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 13 2018 Nov 13, 2018 Tuesday, November 13, 2018 7:15:00 AM CST November 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Boys and Girls Clubs of Columbia unveiled a newly-renovated room and bus devoted to hands-on STEM education Tuesday.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 13 2018 Nov 13, 2018 Tuesday, November 13, 2018 6:21:00 AM CST November 13, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 25°
10am 30°
11am 33°
12pm 35°
1pm 36°