WILDWOOD, Mo. — A shooting at a tavern in Wildwood left two people dead. Authorities are calling the deadly shooting an apparent murder-suicide.
Larry’s Tavern on Manchester Road is back open for business following the deadly shooting. Police said the incident unfolded in the parking lot Tuesday night.
“I think everybody thought they would wake up, and this would be a dream,” said Chelby Burkhart, the manager of Larry’s Tavern.
Burkhart is also the tavern owner’s niece. She said right now she has more questions than answers.
“It’s normally happy-go-lucky. Everybody is dancing and having a good time. It’s shocking,” she said.
Late Wednesday, police identified the victim as 40-year-old Jason Skiles of Hillsboro and the gunman as 51-year-old Darren Jaycox of Wildwood.
Police responded to a call for a shooting just after 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. When officers arrived they found Jaycox and Skiles with gunshot wounds. Both men were dead. Police said the two men were involved in an altercation.
“It seemed that everybody was having a real good time. They were even laughing and talking with each other in a matter of minutes. It all changed,” said Burkhart.
The manager said Skiles is a relative of the tavern’s owner, and the family is devastated. She said the tavern’s surveillance video shows Jaycox and Skiles inside the tavern having a good time.
Next, you see Jaycox motioning for Skiles to come outside. Once outside, things escalated between the two men, and Jaycox opened fire.
Larry’s Tavern opened for business Wednesday following the shooting. It has been a fixture in the community since 1970, and patrons are heartbroken.
“Those things happen everywhere. So, it does not bother us. It did not keep us from coming here,” said Carrol Davis.
The owner said they are open today and will try to move forward with their tavern family. Meanwhile, police are still investigating what led up to the argument.