On Sunday, March 31, 2013, at approximately 8:15 p.m., Randolph County Sheriff deputies responded to a reported vehicle fire on Randolph County Road 2515, in southern Randolph County. While en route, deputies were called to respond to a report of two individuals who had been shot at a residence on Highway Route D, also in Randolph County. Deputies responded to the location of the shooting incident and two subjects were found to be suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Both were taken to the University Hospital in Columbia, Missouri. One of the victims is currently listed in fair condition and the second is listed in serious condition. While at the shooting scene, another victim, who lives a short distance from the shooting scene reported she had been assaulted by a white male and a black male, and her vehicle stolen. At this time, the Randolph County Sheriff's Department received another report of a residential burglary and the theft of another vehicle in the Higbee, Missouri area. During the course of the investigation, deputies were able to link the stolen vehicles and incidents to the white and black male suspect who had reportedly assaulted and stole a vehicle near the shooting incident. The burned vehicle found off Randolph County Road 2515 was determined stolen from a resident in Moberly and that information was provided to the Moberly Police Department.
Shortly before midnight, with information gained from the Randolph County Sheriff's Department, Moberly Police officers responded to a residence in the 400 block of Morehead Street, in an attempt to contact the victim of the stolen vehicle found burned on Randolph County Road 2515. Upon arrival, officers discovered the residence to be unsecure. Officers made entry into the residence and found the 92-year-old female resident dead as a result of suspected foul play. An autopsy is scheduled at the Boone County Medical Examiner's office on Tuesday, April 2, 2013.
Earlier in the day, Moberly Police officers investigated a shoplifting incident at the Moberly Super Walmart, involving a white male and a black male suspect. During the investigation of this incident, it was determined that a Walmart sales associate was able to obtain the license number from the suspect vehicle which was determined to have been stolen in Macon, Missouri on March 31, 2013. As investigative leads developed, law enforcement agencies were able to identify the possible suspects of the Randolph County crime spree. Further developments lead law enforcement to the city of Macon, where officers believed the suspects were in hiding.
According to Macon Police Chief Steve Olinger, Macon County officials were contacted at approximately 12:30 a.m. on April 1 to assist with the investigation.
It was not until approximately 10:00 a.m. on Monday that members of the Macon Police Department, Moberly Police Department, Randolph County Sheriff's Department, Macon County Sheriff's Department, Missouri State Highway Patrol, and members of a Missouri State Highway Patrol SWAT team, were able to take an 18 year old black male and 22 year old white male, into custody without incident.
Page 2 of 2 - "We set a perimeter around the house and eventually the Highway Patrol SWAT team was called in," said Olinger. "We went into the residence and took the subjects into custody without any further injury."
Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Fusselman filed charges on April 1, 2013 of First Degree Murder on Jeffery Jay Nichols and Christopher D. Lewis. Judge Cynthia Suter set Bond at $1,000,000. Both subjects are currently being held in Chariton and Randolph County Jails awaiting arraignment.
The names of the victims have not been released at this time.