(KTXL) — A former Major League Baseball player was among two people arrested in Nevada this week in connection to a 2021 shooting that killed a man and injured his wife in North Lake Tahoe, California, according to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.
Danny Serafini, 49, who played for Colorado Rockies and five other teams, was arrested in Winnemucca Friday morning for the murder of Robert Gary Spohr, 70, and the attempted murder of the man’s wife, Wendy Wood, 68.
Family members confirmed to Nexstar’s KTXL that Serafini is married to the couple’s daughter.
A second suspect, 33-year-old Samantha Scott, was arrested separately Friday in Vegas, about 470 miles south of Winnemucca.
The murder of Robert Gary Spohr and attempted murder of Wendy Wood
On June 5, 2021, deputies arrived at the couple’s North Lake Tahoe home after receiving a 911 call from the home but hearing no one on the other end.
Upon entering the home, Spohr was found dead from a single gunshot wound and Wood had been shot in the head but was found to be alive and unresponsive.
She was rushed to the ICU where she was able to recover from her injuries. She died a year later, although it is unclear if it was from her injuries sustained in the shooting.
Those staying in the Homewood neighborhood near the residence of Robert Spohr and Wendy Wood said the attack was surprising.
“It’s like something out of a movie. You don’t expect to hear something like that in this kind of area,” Van Pittius said in a June 2021 interview. “You feel safe. You constantly have kids and families walking or bicycling around and then this happens.”
Suspect information and surveillance video
The only initial visual information about the suspects that investigators had was video surveillance from a camera along West Lake Boulevard.
The video shows a hooded person wearing a face-covering and a backpack walking into the home several hours before the attack took place.
In February 2022, the couple’s daughter Adrienne Spohr held a press conference where she offered a $150,000 reward to anyone who could provide information that may lead to the capture of the alleged shooter.
“Tough to put a price on anything like this because this is my father,” Sphor said in February 2022. “This is the man I loved, and my mother’s life has been shattered by this. We wanted to put a reward out from the minute it happened, but in talking with the Placer County sheriff, we also wanted to give them the opportunity to go through all the evidence that they had before announcing a reward.”
Serafini was born in San Francisco and went to high school in San Mateo. He later became an MLB pitcher. In 1992, he was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the first round with the 26th overall pick. He pitched a total of 263.2 innings across seven years with six teams — including the Twins, Cubs, Padres, Pirates, Reds, and Rockies.
His most productive season came in 1998 as a member of the Twins when he posted a 7-4 (W-L) record to go along with 46 strikeouts and a 6.48 ERA.
What Happens Next?
Serafini and Scott are now awaiting extradition from Nevada to Placer County where they will be booked into the Placer County Jail.
“Today, justice was served. The apprehension of those responsible for the tragic events that unfolded in Homewood, North Lake Tahoe in 2021 stands as a testament to the unwavering dedication of our detectives, law enforcement partners, and the persistence of our pursuit of truth,” Placer County Sheriff Wayne Woo wrote in a statement on Friday.
“Understand that my team’s commitment to unraveling the most complex of cases prevails, and those who inflict harm upon our community will be held accountable every time.”
According to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, in Nevada, Serafini will be facing charges of murder, attempted murder, and child abuse/endangerment.