More details on fatal hotel shooting in Bonifay

In Holmes County, the sheriff's office is investigating a fatal shooting. Deputies say it happened at the Holiday Inn Express in Bonifay around 3:20 a.m.
Published: May. 29, 2023 at 11:23 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BONIFAY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Around 3:23 a.m. on Monday morning, a 911 call was received from the Holiday Inn Express in Bonifay.

A female on the phone told officials she had accidentally shot someone.

Deputies were shortly on scene and came into the motel room where the woman and a man were located.

The man, identified as Steven Lamar Hall, reportedly had a gunshot wound to his leg; EMS tended to the injury and transported the man to a local hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries.

When HCSO made contact with the woman, identified as Lois Kay Merkel, she stated she was in the room with the man, took a gun out of a safe, and attempted to load a round in the chamber when it went off.

When NewsChannel 7 asked Sheriff John Tate what the relationship was between the two, he stated, “according to her [Merkel], her own words is they have an affair, some kind of romantic relationship”.

Officials say they took Merkel to the sheriff’s office to ask her more about the situation.

Merkel is reportedly from Panama City.

Authorities were able to execute a search warrant on the room and the individuals’ vehicles, and allegedly found meth, marijuana, and prescription medication.

Merkel is currently in custody, facing meth and firearm charges. More charges are expected.

The incident is still under investigation. The full press conference can be found below.

Investigators are in Bonifay after a reported fatal shooting at the Holiday Inn.

According to Holmes County Sheriff’s Office, all parties have been identified at this time, and there is no current danger to the community.

The investigation is still ongoing, and no further information has been made available.

We’ll continue to update this story as we learn more.