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Fugitive Kills Himself After Cornered by Police

March 27, 2002
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Fugitive Kills Himself After Cornered by Police

Associated Press

KIMBALL, Neb. (AP) - A California man suspected of killing his ex-girlfriend and stabbing her mother to death shot himself to death after police cornered him in a small Nebraska town, authorities said.

William Wheeler, 41, of Santa Monica, Calif., shot himself in the head Wednesday as he faced a blockade of Nebraska police and SWAT officers, authorities said.

Los Angeles police had put out a nationwide alert for Wheeler after finding the bodies of Anna Catherine Hughes, 66, and her 37-year-old daughter, who has not been identified, in their homes Tuesday.

California authorities notified local police at around 4 a.m. MST that the fugitive may be in the area because his father lived in Kimball.

Officers spotted a car belonging to Wheeler's ex-girlfriend near the father's house about two hours later. Wheeler fled in a car but was surrounded by police about eight blocks away.

All schools in Kimball had locked down - with adults guarding all entrances - earlier in the day, when police notified school officials about a potentially dangerous situation in the area.

Superintendent Jerry Williams said classes went on as usual, but parents had been allowed to pick up their children if they desired.

A grand jury will investigate Wheeler's death, which is required under state law whenever someone dies while in custody or being pursued by law enforcement officers.

Kimball, a Nebraska Panhandle community of 2,500 residents, is about 125 miles northeast of Denver, Colo.

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