Murder suspect shot himself as investigators approached

KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - A man wanted for the murder of his ex-girlfriend ended his run from the law by shooting himself just as investigators found his vehicle.

Coeur d'Alene Police say Steven Denson shot and killed Kelly Pease Wednesday in the parking lot of Kootenai Health. The two had recently broken up and Denson was awaiting trial on charges he assaulted her and violated an order to stay away.

Police put out Denson's picture early Thursday morning along with a picture of his white SUV.

At around 4:00 Thursday afternoon, an alert citizen reported seeing his vehicle in the area of Hauser Lake Road and Kopf Rd near Post Falls.

Kootenai County Sheriff's Deputy S. Larsen saw Denson's vehicle among a line of cars a few miles away; he turned around and saw Denson's SUV turn north onto N. Bruss Road.

Depyuty Larsen saw Denson turn around in a driveway and come back towards his patrol vehicle. The deputy blocked in Denson's vehicle, got out of the car and waited for backup.

"Within 30-60 seconds of exiting his vehicle, Dep Larsen heard what he believed to be a muffled gunshot coming from the area of Denson's vehicle," the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office said in a news release Friday. As other deputies arrived, they used binoculars to determine Benson had shot himself. Pease leaves behind five children. She was in the nursing program at North Idaho College.

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