Fulton, Mo. A man already facing theft charges was captured Thursday as a suspect in a series of fatal central Missouri shootings that had prompted police to warn anyone associated with him to flee the area.
Joshua William Maylee, 23, was taken into custody about 1:30 p.m. after approaching a residence on foot in Cooper County, several dozen miles west of where the shootings occurred, said Sgt. Robert Bruchsaler of the Mid-Missouri Major Case Squad.
Authorities have not discussed specific motives for the shootings, but records obtained by The Associated Press indicate one of the victims had received a stolen lawnmower from Maylee. He has not been charged in connection with the shootings that left three people dead and one wounded, but police have said they want to question him.
“Every victim was connected to him from negative dealings in the past,” Bruchsaler said Thursday evening. He declined to elaborate.
Before Maylee was captured, Bruchsaler encouraged people who had past encounters with him to contact law officers and move to a safe location.
“If they feel that their lives are in danger because of past dealings with Mr. Maylee, they need to find accommodations elsewhere,” Bruchsaler said earlier Thursday. It was unclear how many people may have heeded the warning.
A gunman killed Eugene Pinet, 48, and his 57-year-old wife Jackie at their home in the Holts Summit area early Wednesday. Jeffrey Werdehausen, 46, also was killed and his wife Gina, 41, was injured in a shooting at their home in the same area.
Police said the killings were not random but have declined to say why the victims may have been targeted.