3 dead in apparent domestic dispute

October 9, 2012 2:12:03 PM PDT
Investigators say a domestic dispute escalated into early morning gunfire that left three people dead in Passaic County, New Jersey.

The call came at approximately 6:30 from the West Mount Village apartments in Woodland Park.

When police arrived, they found an SUV with a body inside crashed into several vehicles in the parking lot and a body on the steps of one of the buildings at the apartment complex.

As they investigated those 2 scenes, a third body was found in the woods.

Investigators said Stephen Rhyne, 48, shot and killed Maria Rhyne, also 48, and Gerry Thomas, 44.

Thomas lived at the complex and he was dating Maria Rhyne, police said. The Rhynes had been separated for about a year she had a restraining order against her husband, officials said.

Investigators said Maria Rhyne was shot numerous times outside of an apartment complex door. Thomas was also shot numerous times as he was seated in his Sports Utility Vehicle. It appears that Thomas was attempting to leave the area when he was shot, and subsequently struck several parked vehicles.

The body of Stephen Rhyne was found in the woods about 100 yards away, with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Adding to the drama, a bomb squad investigator showed up in full gear and searched a nearby apartment for possible explosives, but nothing was found.

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