PORTLAND - A man accused of killing his former girlfriend with a series of shotgun blasts at a Portland hotel is suspected of killing his ex-wife earlier in the day in Pullman, police said yesterday.
Kevin Carl Lust also was convicted in 1982 of assaulting a previous wife in Junction City, Ore.
Lust, 35, was charged with murder in the death of Bridgette S. Nelson, 28, of Portland.
He is accused of walking into the Red Lion Inn on the Columbia River Tuesday afternoon and shooting Nelson at her office desk, said police Sgt. Derrick Foxworth.
Tuesday evening, Teia L. Pingree was found dead at her Pullman home after a co-worker reported she had not come to work. Pingree, 35, also appeared to have been killed by a shotgun blast but an autopsy was pending, police said.
Police said neighbors reported hearing gunshots early Tuesday morning.
Lust was believed to have been in the Pullman area recently but he has not so far been charged in his ex-wife's death, the police said.
Lust pleaded guilty to choking his wife Deborrah Lust into unconsciousness 11 years ago in Junction City after she had filed for a divorce. He was sentenced to a year in prison and five years' probation.
Junction City police said he tried to hang himself in his jail cell after the 1982 arrest.
Lust was arrested Tuesday after a hotel security guard pinned him against a wall and handcuffed him, Foxworth said.
The gunman apparently asked for directions to Nelson's office about 2:20 p.m. before he walked in and fired at least four shots with a shotgun, Foxworth said.
The unidentified security chief told police he was standing at the top of a flight of stairs that lead from the lobby to Nelson's office when he heard the first two gunshots.
He ran down the stairs and looked in the office, where he saw a man reloading a shotgun. He heard two more shots moments later, before he rushed into the office through another door and subdued the gunman, Foxworth said.
Foxworth said Nelson and Lust had worked together at the Red Lion Hotel in Modesto, Calif. He said Nelson and Lust had a relationship but that Nelson had called it off in October.
Kim Hansink, a Red Lion spokeswoman, said Lust worked in purchasing at the Modesto Red Lion. He began work there in May 1990 and quit a year ago.
Nelson had worked as a catering sales manager for the Portland Red Lion since the beginning of January.