DENVER – A father of three young children will face a judge for allegedly murdering his wife while she was on the phone with a 911 operator.
Kristine Kirk was on the phone for 13 minutes before she was killed. While police are looking into how they handled the 911 call and their own response time, there is a growing memorial outside the family home.
Police were sent to the home at 2112 South St. Paul Street at 9:32 p.m. Monday. The mother of three was pronounced dead at 10 p.m.
Sources say Richard Kirk, the husband and father, was hallucinating after possibly ingesting edible marijuana. During the 911 call, Kristine 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 couples’ three children witnessed it.
According to a probable cause statement, Kirk admitted to police that he shot his wife.
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.
Jackson said investigators were “looking at their possibly being a marijuana aspect to this particular investigation.”
"My heart goes out to those three boys and Kris’ family. Mom, dad, sister and brothers. This is a terrible thing,” said Lance Kirk, the victim’s brother-in-law and Richard Kirk’s brother.
Richard Kirk is behind bars. Neighbors, family and friends say they knew Kristine and Richard as a loving couple and devoted parents.
"Whatever those boys are going through right now, my thoughts and my prayers are with them and I hope that they find peace,” neighbor Kristin Fynewever said.
“I know that wasn't Richard,” Lance Kirk said. “Let’s just say that. I hope there are some answers that come out about this.”
Records show Richard Kirk does not have a violent history. Kirk is scheduled to make his first court appearance at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
This is the first murder in the University Park neighborhood since at least 2009, as far back as online Denver Police data goes.
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.