Man, 22, is accused of attacking elderly couple with a knife at rest stop killing one

James Thompson Jr was detained by Nebraska State Police  (Hall County Sheriff’s Office)
James Thompson Jr was detained by Nebraska State Police (Hall County Sheriff’s Office)

An attempted robbery at a rest stop in Nebraska left a 72-year-old man dead and his 71-year-old wife in critical condition when the couple was attacked by a man with a knife.

Gary and Mary Weaver, of Eureka, Missouri, who had been traveling across the state in their mobile home, stopped at the rest area along Interstate 80 around 7 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.

When deputies responded to the scene of the stabbing, they found the couple with multiple knife wounds.

Gary Weaver died from his injuries at Grand Island Regional Hospital and an autopsy has been ordered. His wife suffered life-threatening injuries and remains in critical condition.

The suspect, later identified as James Thompson Jr., 22, of Elyria, Ohio, had already fled the area but was apprehended by the Nebraska State Patrol a short time later.

State troopers tried to stop a vehicle matching that description of the suspect’s and chased it up to speeds of 120 mph before the vehicle exited the interstate and drove into the Platte River.

A police dog was used to find the suspect about 30 minutes later.

Thompson was booked in the Hall County Jail and faces multiple charges, including first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and robbery.

“Excellent teamwork by Troopers and Hall County Deputies to quickly locate and apprehend the suspect,” the Nebraska State Patrol wrote in a post on social media. “Our hearts are with the two victims and their family.”

The investigation is ongoing.