PD: Wife was on phone with 911 dispatch when she was murdered

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(Credit: Denver Police Department)

(Credit: Denver Police Department)

DENVER -- The husband of a woman found shot in the head in her home Monday night near the University of Denver has been arrested in connection with the death, the Denver Police Department said.

Richard Kirk, 47, is being held for investigation of first-degree murder.

According to a probable cause statement, Kirk admitted to police that he shot his wife, Kristine Kirk, 44, at their home in the 2100 block of S. St. Paul Street.

Police were called there around 9:30 p.m. Monday night after Kristine Kirk called 911 saying her husband was talking about the end of the world, the PC statement said. Richard Kirk "wanted her to shoot him," the statement said.

The victim "then said that her husband was hallucinating and he was scaring their three small children," the statement said.

Kristine Kirk said in the 911 call that there was a gun in the house, but that it was safe.

"She then said that her husband retrieved the gun from the safe and she began to scream," the statement said.  A gunshot could then be heard followed by silence.

The 911 call lasted 13 minutes, police said.  DPD plans to investigate the emergency call and police response to the homicide.

"Anytime a person dies while communicating with Denver's emergency services, we examine the circumstances to ensure that the incident was handled properly and we look for areas to improve upon," said police spokesman Sonny Jackson.

When police arrived, they found Kristine Kirk dead inside the home.  She had been shot in the head, police said.

A source told FOX31 Denver that investigators are looking into the possibility Richard Kirk ate a marijuana edible before the shooting.

Jackson said investigators were "looking at their possibly being a marijuana aspect to this particular investigation."

It appears at least one of the couple's three boys may have witnessed the crime.

Police were seen escorting a little boy to a patrol car outside the home.

“My heart goes out to those three boys and Kris’ family,” said Vince Kirk. He’s the brother of Richard Kirk who police say murdered his wife.

Kirk said his brother wasn’t suffering from any mental health issues. “Not that I know of,” he said.

"We've talked to numerous parties outside the home, taking them downtown to talk to them" Jackson said. "Hopefully through conversations with them we can get a better determination to what happened. Once we get inside, we'll collect the evidence and see how that supports what we're hearing."

Neighbors said family seemed "very loving."

"Whatever those boys are going through right now, my thoughts and my prayers are with them and I hope that they find peace," said neighbor Kristin Fynewever. "She seemed very loving and I'm very, very sad and shocked that this happened."

Richard Kirk says his brother was not a regular pot user and prays that the explanation for what happened is a bad drug and not a bad person.

“I know it wasn't Richard - let's just say that. I hope there are some answers that come out about this. Was it marijuana? I don’t think so.”

This is the first murder in the University Park neighborhood since at least 2009, as far back as online Denver Police data goes.

LINK: See crime trends in your neighborhood with the DPD Crime Map

Since the beginning of the year, there have only been three "violent crimes" in the University Park neighborhood -- one sexual assault, one robbery and one aggravated assault.




    • Harold Seaward

      “looking at their possibly being a marijuana aspect to this particular investigation.” THEIR? THERE? REALLY? I learned the difference in FOURTH grade. (P.S….I didn’t murder anyone.)

  • matt sandau (@MikkiStixx)

    This is a very tragic story. My heart goes out to those kids in that house. Sorry, but unless that “marijuana” was laced with something like PCP, LSD, or bathsalts nobody is going to hallucinate enough to shoot somebody else. THC is not a strong enough hallucinogen to make somebody go crazy…this is total propaganda. I could care less whether marijuana is legal or not in CO, but to try and pin it to a murder is ridiculous.

    • Kathy Deleon

      Thanks Matt and Draven, I was thinking the same thing. My question is how come these stories were never around for the decades people have been smoking, but just as soon as it’s legal all these crimes occur. Nice stretch but not buying any of this story..SPICE anyone?

  • draven0204

    I think people should read the story. They are trying to say Marijuana caused this. Ridiculous. If anyone has smoked or been around it knows violence is not part of the side effects. He was probably on meth or worse. You would think worth FOX 31 would omit things like propaganda from their stories.

  • Shane Martin

    The DPD and author of this article point out a marijuana edible may be involved. Surely this wasn’t the first marijuana edible consumed by this murderer. The “End of the World” hallucination is the same hallucination permeating the violent domestic terrorism associated with dominionist and neo-Pentecostal Christianity. The “Blood Moon” hyperbole. That is where the pure evil comes from. “It’s on Jewish Holidays!” Duh, a lunar calender with Jewish holidays falling on full moons. Shock.

  • Christin Mason Fynewever

    Just to let everyone know, this happened directly across the street from my parent’s house. He was a nice guy, from what we knew about him. The biggest tragedy is that the boys lost both parents. Turn your thought to them, and send good vibes, or prayers if you’re religious.

  • dyuthas

    There is no doubt that this is a tragedy, but I’m with Harold, get the grammar right. It’s very difficult to trust a news organization that can’t follow AP Style, let alone one that can’t spell. A web editor is desperately needed.

  • Ann Pirie

    There are now three orphans. That is a terrible thing for the remainder of this family to have to endure. I hope there are relatives who can take the boys and give them a good life.

  • Austin Faux

    Extremely unacpected. I knew Richard a number of years ago. When I was gone for 3 weeks I asked him if he could check in with my wife and kids while I was gone, just to make sure they were doing good.

    I feel bad that the kids lost both parents.

  • Robert Gift

    How sad that the wife did not take the children and get in the car and drive to safety. Or just run away.

    Don’t count on 9-1-1 and police to save you. Police cannot be there instantly. When they do arrive, they cannot know who is where and doing what.

    My wife and I have a plan similar to our fire escape plan. GET OUT.
    This includes opening a bedroom window and going onto the roof.
    If trapped, grab our handgun, it has a fully loaded magazine with a round in the chamber, and hide in the closet.

  • Tony Montana (@galactictruth)

    1. Poor kids who had to experience that. 2. Why bother with the cops you’re more likely to get shot by them than get help. When seconds count the cops are minutes away. If someone is acting crazy, leave. 3. Pot does not make people shoot someone that’s just unethical reporting, a concept that is clearly foreign to fox31.

  • Skooter McGoo (@usorthem3)

    As a Fox news station I would expect nothing less than what you provide, conjecture of the GOP agenda, hence the “source” claiming marijuana involvement as if the police would look no further into alcohol, prescription drugs, or ever other possible motive for this crime. I would however expect anyone who claims to be a journalist(like Sarah Palin does) to be able to use proper sentence structure and spelling. It only goes to show the mentality of your viewership.

  • Mat Ty

    What a tragedy ..she looked like a sweetheart..hard to belive….they’re not saying Marijuana was the cause..they’re looking into the possibility it was a contributing factor just like hearing a hit and run involved alcohol…if you take whatever was going on in his head and add anything to it..that’s what there pointing out….you can’t judge the situation based on what marijuana does to you..ever listen to that audio tape of a couple who called into 911 to say they were dying after eating brownies….it happens.. have some respect

  • Sophie Cat

    Neighbors said family seemed “very loving.”

    Woman-beaters always seem “very loving” when someone is watching. They are MONSTERS behind closed doors. Just because the man’s own brother won’t tell the truth, doesn’t mean those kids won’t.

Comments are closed.