A prison escapee who had been on the run since last Friday was shot to death in Bedford, Iowa early Tuesday morning by a man he had taken hostage.
Rodney Long escaped from the minimum-security prison facility in Clarinda last week, touching off a furious and bloody pursuit.
He had remained under the radar until Sunday when Deputy Dan Wyckoff responded to a suspicious person call on Highway 2. When the deputy got out of his vehicle, Long shot him and drove off in the deputy’s patrol truck.
Another deputy arrived and a 40-minute, bullet-riddled chase ensued. More than 50 rounds were fired. The pursuit ended five miles outside of Bedford where Long lost control of the vehicle he had stolen and vanished into a cornfield.
The manhunt was on.
“That's where they thought he was, was in the cornfield right there,” Kay Shepard told us as she recalled the swarm of law enforcement officers that descended on Bedford. They came empty on Monday.
Investigators say that shortly after 10 o'clock Monday night, Long found his way to the home of Jerome and Karen Mauderly where he was about to die.
Long broke in and took the Mauderlys hostage. They remained at the mercy of their captor for four hours. Then, 71-year-old Jerome Mauderly managed to get to his shotgun and opened fire in the kitchen. Long was dead. Karen called 911.
"It's because he feared for he and his wife's safety,” said Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Mitch Mortvedt. He thought that at the end of this situation, whenever it was going to end, that they'd be killed."
The Mauderlys requested privacy Tuesday. We’re told they just want life to return to normal. No comment about their ordeal.
Deputy Wyckoff, the lawman Rodney Long shot and wounded on Sunday, is being treated at the Nebraska Medical Center. He is expected to recover.