Two Men Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide at Lake Koocanusa Boat Launch

The incident occurred at the Rexford Bench boat launch following a verbal altercation between an Oregon man and a Kalispell man

By Maggie Dresser
Lake Koocanusa on June 16, 2021. Hunter D’Antuono

A 40-year-old Oregon man and a 51-year-old Kalispell man are dead following an apparent murder-suicide that occurred yesterday afternoon at a Lake Koocanusa boat launch in Rexford, according to a Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) news release.

LCSO deputies and Eureka Police Department officers were dispatched to the Rexford Bench boat launch to a report of a shooting on July 26 at 3:15 p.m. When they arrived, law enforcement learned there had been a verbal altercation between Eric Newman of Bend, Oregon and Christopher Foster of Kalispell at the boat ramp where they were loading boats.

Following the argument, Newman got into his vehicle to back down the boat ramp when Foster reportedly pulled a handgun and shot Newman. Foster then retreated to the parking area and was later found in his vehicle with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the release.

Both men died at the scene.

The investigation is ongoing. The U.S. Border Patrol, the U.S. Forest Service and the Eureka Volunteer Ambulance assisted at the incident.

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