N E V A D A C I T Y, Calif., Jan. 11, 2001 -- Three people were killed and twoothers were wounded at a county office and restaurant by a gunmaninvestigators say was a mental patient convinced the restaurant wastrying to poison him.
The gunman went into the county social services building inNevada City at about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday and shot three people atthe outpatient mental health clinic with a handgun. Employee LauraWilcox, 19, and visiting caregiver Pearlie Mae Feldman, 68, werekilled, Sheriff Keith Royal said.
A fourth person injured there broke her leg jumping from awindow to escape, he said.
About 10 minutes later, the man went into a Lyon's restaurantless than two miles away near Grass Valley, fatally shootingrestaurant manager Mike Markle, 24, and wounding a cook, Royalsaid.Suspect Unhappy with Mental Health Care
The suspected gunman, Scott Harlan Thorpe, 40, was arrested atabout 9 p.m. at his Smartville home, about 15 miles from the siteof the first shooting, the sheriff said. He was turned in by hisbrother, Kent Thorpe, a police officer in Sacramento.
Authorities said they believe Thorpe was unhappy with themental health care he received at the county clinic, and feared hewas being poisoned at the restaurant, the sheriff said.
"It is a dark day for our county," county board ChairwomanElizabeth Martin told reporters. "I'm here to express our deepgrief and horror at this loss to our community and offer ourcondolences to the families."
Nevada County is a largely rural county of about 90,000 in theSierra Nevada foothills, about 50 miles north of Sacramento inCalifornia gold-rush country.
A friend of Markle's, Ted Langdell of Marysville, said he lastsaw him at the Yuba City Lyon's on Christmas.
"He was busy cooking, waiting tables and basically being ajack-of-all-trades so others could go home on Christmas," Langdellsaid.
The sheriff identified the woman wounded at the county buildingas Judith Edzards, 49. She was in critical condition at SutterRoseville Medical Center.
The restaurant cook, Richard Senuty, 34, was in good conditionat the Sierra Nevada Hospital in Grass Valley. Daisy Switzer wasthe county worker hurt jumping out of the county health building.