Mathew Rice

Manhunt underway for suspect who reportedly tried to kill estranged wife & burn down three houses

Police in Fontana, California, are on the hunt for a man they say is armed and dangerous after he assaulted his estranged wife and tried to set fire to three different homes.

Mathew Rice, 37, is wanted for a slew of charges, including attempted murder, assault, arson, home invasion, and burglary, KABC reports.

Police say Rice broke into a home late Tuesday night and attempted to shoot and kill his estranged wife. She and her male friend were both in the house when Rice reportedly came in with a shotgun and assaulted the two. Rice was eventually disarmed and ran away.

His estranged wife was hospitalized but is in stable condition.

Wednesday afternoon, a neighbor called the woman to tell her that her house was flooding. Police believe Rice returned to the home, attempted to set it on fire, then took her car. Fontana police Sgt. Darren Robbins said sprinklers in the home put out the fire.

Shortly after that, investigators learned of another attempt at setting fire to a second house. The house belonged to Rice’s estranged wife’s male friend that was present during the previous night’s incident. Police say they observed fire damage to the front door of the home.

Meanwhile, investigators became aware of a third attempt at burning a house down in Rancho Cucamonga. The house belonged to his estranged mother- and father-in-law, according to  Los Angeles Times.

Police believe the attempts occurred sometime between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Rice may be driving a 2014 white Chevrolet Cruz with the license plate 7HGK307. Anyone with information on Rice’s whereabouts is urged to call (909) 350-7700. Police warn that he should be considered armed and dangerous.

[Feature Photo: Fontana Police Department]