Police said Tuesday they are unsure why a Louisiana man suspected of killing his wife drove 19½ hours to Durango to shoot himself outside the emergency room doors at Mercy Regional Medical Center.
“We haven’t made any connections that he knows anybody here or was coming here to see anyone,” said Cmdr. Ray Shupe with the Durango Police Department. “There wasn’t a note left behind or anything like that.
“We’ll be coordinating with the originating agency, whoever issued the warrant, and we’ll be working with them.”
The man was identified as Rudolf K. Shoats, 48. La Plata County Coroner Jann Smith confirmed Shoats died by suicide. An autopsy was performed Monday.
The incident occurred at 12:27 p.m. Monday.
Shoats, driving a white 2008 Ford F-150, apparently pulled up to the area of the emergency room doors and stopped. Witnesses heard a loud bang, then the truck accelerated and went through metal fencing and over a 15- to 20-foot retaining wall. The truck landed on its top in a delivery dock area, Shupe said.
“It’s quite a fall from there,” he said.
Shoats is suspected of shooting his wife, Khristie Rollins Shoats, 45, according to The Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana). They were last seen together Saturday night leaving an event. Her body was found Sunday afternoon in the passenger seat of her vehicle at her home in Woodville, The Advocate reported.
Shoats, captain of a fire department, missed his shift Sunday and Monday and apparently turned off his phone, the newspaper reported.
A warrant was issued Sunday for Shoats’ arrest.
Shoats’ career spanned 13 years with the fire department. He was named officer of the year in 2015 and 2017, the Advocate reported.