Sunday, July 8, 2012

Vichy, MO: Police: Patrol trooper's ex-boyfriend takes her hostage, then kills himself

VICHY, Mo. • The former boyfriend of a Missouri Highway Patrol trooper killed himself after taking her hostage briefly at gunpoint inside her home Wednesday, police say.

The ex-boyfriend who died has been identified as Clifford R. Karst, 42, of Warrenton. He lived on and off in Vichy, police say.

Karst had been with the Missouri Highway Patrol from 1994 to 2007. He resigned in 2007, said Capt. Tim Hull of the Missouri Highway Patrol's headquarters in Jefferson City. Hull did not say why Karst had resigned.

Maries County Sheriff Chris Heitman said Karst apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound from a shotgun at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. He shot himself inside the home of his former girlfriend off Highway 63 in Vichy.

The female trooper, 39, was off-duty at the time. Heitman said police got a call that she was being held at gunpoint inside her home. She was able to break free and run outside, Heitman said. Police heard a single gunshot, Heitman said.

Heitman said there was a standoff that lasted only about 15 minutes. He and other deputies went into the home and found Karst dead. An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday morning.

This case is being investigated by the Maries County Sheriff’s Office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

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