WHITEFISH, Mont. - Whitefish Police say they think a Whitefish man was in a jealous rage when he shot and killed TV host Gregory Rodriguez from Sugar Land, Texas.
We talked to a neighbor who describes the Lakes Village as a sleepy little area, filled with seasonal residents. She was shocked to hear that someone was murdered about three doors down from her house.
But Whitefish resident Kaley Martinson is used to hearing shots fired outside her Lakes Village home.
"I was just laying in bed reading, and I thought I heard a gunshot," said Martinson.
"I've heard shotgun noises across the street," Martinson explained. "I wasn't completely sure that it was from a home."
Late Thursday evening, investigators say 43-year-old Gregory Rodriguez of Sugar Land, Texas, was killed by 41-year-old West Glacier resident Wayne Bengston. Whitefish police say Bengston's wife and Rodriguez were talking business and drinking wine at her mother's house on River Lakes Parkway. Officers say Bengston showed up, uttered a few vulgarities, and shot Rodriguez several times.
"Pretty rare to hear about, pretty crazy," said Martinson.
Bengston reportedly beat and pistol whipped his wife, and then took their two year old son to a relatives' home in Columbia Falls. From there, investigators said he drove to his home in West Glacier and shot himself with the same weapon he reportedly used to kill Rodriguez. Officers report Bengston and his wife were not separated.
"There had been some arguments but she said nothing that would ever indicate that he'd do anything like this. No violence," Whitefish Police Chief Bill Dial said of the married couple's history.
Martinson tells NBC Montana new of the murder came as a shock to her and her mother, who say the neighborhood varies with the seasons, but the people are always friendly.
"Always lived in Whitefish. Crime's never been anything we've ever known about. Always seemed nonexistent and something that doesn't happen here," said Martinson.
"We haven't had any violent crimes in Whitefish to speak of since February," said Dial. "We're hoping that this is the end."
The alleged murder-suicide is currently under investigation.