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Authorities investigate fatal shooting at Rexford Bench boat launch

by SCOTT SHINDLEDECKER
Hagadone News Network | August 2, 2023 1:00 AM

Two men are dead after a shooting Wednesday afternoon at the Rexford Bench boat launch on Lake Koocanusa in Lincoln County.

Deputies and detectives from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and officers from the Eureka Police Department were dispatched to the Rexford Bench boat launch for a report of a shooting about 3:15 p.m., July 26.

According to a press release from the Sheriff's Office, an argument between the men turned deadly when a 51-year-old Kalispell man, Christopher Mark Foster, shot 40-year-old Eric Newman of Bend, Oregon.

Arriving authorities learned the argument occurred while the men loaded boats at the ramp. Authorities said Newman got into his vehicle to back down the boat ramp when Foster drew a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun and shot him.

Foster then retreated to the parking area and was later found in his vehicle with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Both men died at the scene.

Sheriff Darren Short said there was no indication of alcohol use.

"Both individuals will likely have toxicology done but that’s the coroner’s decision," Short said in an email to The Western News.

In addition to officers from the county and Eureka, U.S. Border Patrol, the U.S. Forest Service and Eureka Volunteer Ambulance assisted at the scene.

The deadly shooting remains under investigation, officials said.