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Mary Wheat is dead after husband Brad fatally shot her before taking his own life

By Christine Pelisek
September 05, 2018 03:54 PM
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Credit: Mary Hooper Wheat/Facebook

An off-duty California Highway Patrolman allegedly shot a man and then fatally shot his wife before turning the gun on himself outside a strip mall Monday, PEOPLE confirms.

Police say 45-year-old officer Brad Wheat shot his wife Mary, 42, multiple times in a parking lot following an argument inside a nutrition store in Martell before ending his life at about 10:45 p.m.

The owner of the store, Get Ripped Nutrition, was also shot in the shoulder during the altercation and is currently in stable condition in the hospital.

“It is a real shock, surprise and an absolutely horrible event,” Amador County Sheriff Martin A. Ryan tells PEOPLE.

Ryan says there are no outstanding suspects in the case. “It was an incident that was contained to these three individuals at this scene,” he says, adding that all three knew each other.

Deputies were called to the scene by the store owner, who said he was inside the store with Mary Wheat when her husband began banging on the door to get inside, says Ryan.

Ryan says that at some point, Brad Wheat fired a shot inside the store, touching off a struggle between the three of them that ended in the murder-suicide as the store owner escaped.

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Ryan says the motive for the shooting is not clear and says he would not speculate on “rumors” about the relationship between the three, and said the violence was “a spur of the moment kind of an issue.”

Ryan says Mary Wheat owned a cross-fit gym near Get Ripped Nutrition.

Brad Wheat, he says, helped coach one of the local high school football teams and was a “quiet, reserved kind of guy.”

The couple, he says, were well-known in the community and leave behind four children.

Ryan says investigators did not find any history of abuse between the couple.

“A lot of people here have been devastated by this loss and the tragedy of it all,” Ryan says.