A man stood over his wife’s body for hours on the wooden deck of their Cedar Hill, Missouri, home before authorities could reach them Wednesday morning.
After about five hours, the man, later identified as 62-year-old Steve E. Treece, allowed deputies to take him into custody, a spokesman from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office told St. Louis media.
Deputies were called to the neighborhood after a woman called 911 at around 6 a.m. to report shots fired. The woman told deputies she went outside to find out what was going on and saw Treece with a handgun, KMOV reported. He allegedly pointed the gun at the witness, and she went back inside.
Jefferson County Capt. Gary Higginbotham said authorities arrived and saw Treece sitting on a deck, according to a video interview provided by the St. Louis Post-Dispach. When they went over to talk with the man, he allegedly made threats and pointed his gun at them.
Shortly after that, authorities noticed “a female, appeared deceased, laying below his feet,” Higginbotham said in the interview.
A standoff ensued.
Edited helicopter footage from KMOV shows Treece standing on the deck during the standoff — and he stayed put, as the Sheriff’s Office said. Parts of the television station video are edited to conceal images of the woman’s body.
By around 11 a.m., Treece was taken into custody without incident, Higginbotham said.
Once the scene cleared, neighbors helped clean the deck, KSDK reported.
A nearby resident told KSDK he was close to the Treece family and knew the victim as Treece’s wife, Donna.
“I’m glad that he made it out alive. I hope they can get him the help he needs because he’s not a violent man,” Justin Colbert said in an interview with KSDK.
Colbert described Treece’s wife as “the sweetest woman you would ever want to meet” in a separate interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Treece allegedly admitted to authorities that he shot the woman multiple times, according to court records obtained by KTVI. Treece also said he had been thinking about killing her for two months, KTVI reported.
Treece has been charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action and two counts of unlawful use of a weapon, according to online court records. He remains in the county jail without bond.
A court date has not yet been scheduled.