Family of mother allegedly killed by high husband talks about loss, moving on

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DENVER — The family of murder victim Kristine Kirk released a statement Tuesday, detailing their struggle to recover from the loss and reiterating their belief that Kirk’s husband killed her.

“We are taking it day by day — sometimes only hour by hour,” said Tammy Heman, Kirk’s sister. “There is a lot of healing still to be done.”

Heman, who is now raising Kirk’s three sons, described their sense of loss as “immeasurable.”

“(Kirk) was their go-to person for everything,” she said. “And they were her greatest pride and accomplishment in life. Her close bond and relationship with them was something to envy and that can never be replaced.

“But those boys are remarkable people — loving bright, funny and sensitive. They keep us going.”

PDF: Read the full Kirk family statement

She also noted that the Kristine Ann Kirk Memorial Fund has been established to help fund the boys’ educations.

Elsewhere, the family reiterated their belief that Kirk was fatally shot by her husband Richard Kirk on April 14.

The case drew intense publicity because Kristine Kirk was on the phone with a 911 operator for 13 minutes before she was shot. The suspect was also allegedly under the influence of marijuana edibles at the time of the shooting.

Richard Kirk mug domestic homicide
Denver police arrested Richard Kirk on April 14, 2014 in connection to the death of his wife. (Photo: DPD)

During the 911 call, Kirk told the dispatcher that her husband was “talking about the end of the world and he wanted her to shoot him.” When she refused, police say her husband shot her. According to sources, one of the couple’s three children witnessed it.

Richard Kirk has been formally charged with murder in the case. According to a probable cause statement, he admitted to police that he shot his wife.

When police did finally arrive at the scene to find Kirk dead, they did so under “code 2” status — that is, without lights and sirens activated, and likely not moving as quickly as possible.

Accusations have been flying about the slow response, blaming everything from operator error to dispatch software problems to the simple fact that police response time can sometimes be 15 minutes or more, even in emergencies.

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