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Wife of Idaho gunman is found dead in home

MOSCOW, Idaho -- The wife of a gunman who killed two people and himself at a courthouse and a church was found dead inside her home, police said yesterday.

Crystal Hamilton, 30, a courthouse maintenance worker, died of a single gunshot to the head, Latah County Sheriff Wayne Rausch said. Authorities believe she was killed before her husband, Jason Hamilton, went on his rampage late Saturday and early Sunday, Rausch said.

Police said Hamilton sprayed dozens of bullets into a courthouse, killing a police officer and wounding a sheriff's deputy and a civilian, then went to a nearby church where he apparently killed a church sexton and himself.

Police found 125 shell casings from two assault rifles, Assistant Police Chief David Duke said. Officers did not return fire, he said.

Hamilton, 36, of Moscow, had a history of violence, Duke said.

Duke said police found Crystal Hamilton's body Sunday morning, but did not release the information so relatives could be notified. Rausch said she had worked at the courthouse janitorial department since 2000.

Police said Jason Hamilton started shooting from a parking lot across from the courthouse shortly after 11 p.m. Saturday. More than 30 bullets ripped through the county's emergency dispatch center.

Officer Lee Newbill was killed as he rushed to the courthouse, and a sheriff's deputy helped pull Newbill out of the way before being shot, Duke said.

Hamilton apparently retreated to the nearby First Presbyterian Church, where police heard the last gunshot shortly after 1 a.m.

About 6 a.m., three SWAT teams entered the church and found the bodies of Hamilton and another man, Duke said. An assault rifle, ammunition, and spent shells were found next to Hamilton's corpse.

Hamilton died of what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Duke said. His body was found in the sanctuary, and the body of another man was found in the church office. The second man also died of gunshot wounds, Duke said.

The Rev. Norman Fowler identified the victim as Paul Bauer, who was in his 60s.