When Ryan William Taylor showed up at a Hayden apartment Tuesday afternoon, he was there to confront his ex-wife’s husband – a man he believed had been abusing her.
But Taylor, 28, never left the property alive. The man he confronted fired four rounds at Taylor, family members say, one striking him in the back of the head.
A search team from Kootenai and Spokane counties found the suspected gunman, Chad Lee Moore, dead from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound Wednesday morning east of Hayden Lake. After an overnight manhunt, searchers found Moore’s pickup, which had been burned, before spotting his body on a logging road about one mile north of Triangle 7 Road and Hayden Creek Road.
Moore, 35, had a handgun and a military-style rifle with several ammo clips, said Maj. Dan Mattos of the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department.
“One conclusion drawn is that perhaps he was lying in wait for police, but we’ll never know because he took his own life,” Mattos said.
Investigators believe he set fire to the truck before walking down the road and shooting himself.
Moore’s wife, Amber Kern, was previously married to Taylor. Nine months pregnant with Moore’s baby, Kern was taken to a hospital Wednesday but was not expected to give birth immediately, said Taylor’s mother, Barbara Taylor.
Mattos said Moore and Ryan Taylor had ongoing problems.
Barbara Taylor said Kern had called her Tuesday and said Moore had hit her after asking if she’d been talking to Ryan Taylor on the phone. Taylor was out on a birthday shopping trip with his friend Kimmy Starnes and his daughter Jordan, who turns 12 Friday. The three stopped by Moore and Kern’s apartment at 10102 N. Government Way, where Taylor found Moore armed with a loaded handgun, Barbara Taylor said.
“He’s always been the good guy, the defender,” she said of her youngest son, who was pronounced dead at Kootenai Medical Center.
Taylor and Kern were married 10 years and still had a good relationship, Barbara Taylor said.
“Chad Moore was very jealous of that. He didn’t even like the two of them talking,” she said.
Jordan, Taylor’s oldest daughter, witnessed the shooting at about 2:50 p.m. outside a building at the Lakeview Village apartment complex, Barbara Taylor said. She said the family will seek counseling for the girl, who lived with her father and half-sisters, Dakota and Kaylaa.
A neighbor said Moore and Kern lived in separate apartments before they met and moved in together. Court records show they were married in June 2009, a few months after Kern and Taylor divorced.
Taylor worked construction but was laid off this winter, his mother said. A neighbor said Moore worked in the trucking business, and Kern is a nurse.
The Grail bar and nightclub in Huetter will host a benefit Saturday to raise money for Taylor’s funeral. Grail co-owner Larry Sumner said Taylor “had a lot of things going for him.”
“He was a really good father and a good person,” Sumner said.
Taylor recently bought his daughters motorcycle equipment. He wanted to get them involved in outdoor activities at an early age, Barbara Taylor said.
She struggled to understand why Moore did what he did.
“If he’s going to shoot himself anyway, why did he take my son’s life?” she asked. “My poor baby.”