AMADOR COUNTY (CBS13) — A California Highway Patrol officer killed his wife in a shopping center, then himself, the Amador County Sheriff’s Department said on Tuesday.
Detectives say they found 45-year old Brad Wheat, an off-duty CHP officer, his wife dead in a parking lot, following an altercation. Another man was also shot in the shoulder during the incident, but he is expected to survive.
Wheat was trying to get inside Get Ripped Nutrition, and when he couldn’t, he shot the window out. Detectives say they’re still looking for a motive behind the horrific tragedy of a couple who touched so many lives.
“She was always happy, outgoing and would talk to you about everything.”
That’s how Gloria Vallejo remembers 42-year-old Mary Wheat.
“Lately, Mary had been coming in to have lunch, to have a drink, she’ll be at the bar just hanging out,” Vallejo said
Vallejo says she saw Mary on Friday having lunch with the owner of Get Ripped Nutrition, the business next door to Vallejo’s restaurant.
Detectives say late Monday night, Brad Wheat tried to enter the nutrition shop where his wife reportedly was, with the shop owner.
“It appears the initial struggle occurred inside the building and at some point, it left the building,” said Amador County Sheriff Martin Ryan.
He says Wheat shot the store owner in the shoulder, then shot his wife, before turning the gun on himself. He adds the couple was very-well known throughout Amador County.
The sheriff says Mary Wheat owned a cross-fit gym and was involved in local churches and high schools.
Brad Wheat also volunteered his time at local high schools and was well-known among the law enforcement community in Amador County.
“They were both very personable, easy to get to know and easy to like. She was very bubbly, I think more outgoing than Brad,” the sheriff said.
The couple shares four children, who members of the community are calling the true victims of this horrific small-town tragedy.
The California Highway Patrol confirms Wheat worked as a CHP officer out of the Amador office. He had been there for the past two years.