Guardsman kills wife, man, then himself, authorities say

A National Guard member entered a Florida hotel room last weekend and fatally shot his estranged wife and another man before turning the gun on himself, authorities said.

Police identified the gunman as Mark Stokes, 37, a major in the Army National Guard who was stationed at Fort Rucker in Enterprise, Ala.

His wife was identified as Amanda Stokes, 28, a sergeant in the Army National Guard, also at Fort Rucker.

The other man was identified as Kenneth Walker Krause, 30, formerly of Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Amanda Stokes and Kenneth Krause are seen in an image from Amanda Stokes’ Facebook page.

The slaying occurred around 4 a.m. Saturday in Panama City, Fla., where Amanda Stokes, who was separated from her husband, had gotten a hotel room to share with Krause, whom police described as her “new acquaintance.”

Although separated, the Stokeses co-owned a bar in Alabama and had rented a house in Panama City for friends and family to attend the Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally, the Citizens’ Voice of Wilkes-Barre reported. Amanda Stokes had gotten a hotel room away from the others because she was no longer with her husband, the newspaper reported.

But Mark Stokes obtained a key to the room from the front desk and locked the door after he entered, the Northwest Florida Daily News reported, adding that police who responded to the scene after the shooting had to break into the room.

Amanda Stokes had posted days earlier on Facebook that she and her husband had split up, and that she would be going to the rally, the Daily News reported.

Later that day, Mark Stokes posted that he planned to travel to the rally as well, and that he would be getting “back in the saddle.”

The estranged couple’s 5-year-old daughter had been with her mother at the hotel Thursday, but was discovered to be “safe in Alabama” because her grandmother had pick her up that day, the Daily News reported.

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