BROOMFIELD, Colo. (CBS4)– Police said there was a connection between the shooting suspect and his victim in last week’s shooting in Broomfield. The accused gunman and the woman had once been roommates.
CBS4 has also learned the accused gunman, Raymond Crouch, has confessed to police. According to the arrest affidavit, Crouch, 62, had been planning the shooting for more than a year.
Police said Crouch walked into East of Sweden, a Saab auto parts store located at 155 Commerce Street in Broomfield on Friday and shot and killed Mary McGrath.
Investigators said Crouch planned to kill himself and an employee who had irritated him at a Lakewood motel. Those events never happened.
Friends remember McGrath, 56, with fond memories.
“Nicest person you could deal with. She could talk to anybody about anything. She loved baseball, had a book club that she belonged to,” said McGrath’s friend Jeff Cordsen.
McGrath was shot five times. She and Crouch were longtime acquaintances along with the shop’s owner, Bob Wisdom.
“I saw him shoot her. Then I took the gun away and called 911,” said Wisdom.
Wisdom said he and Crouch were roommates with McGrath many years ago. Wisdom and McGrath had dated for a time but had continued to be friends and co-workers after their relationship fizzled.
Wisdom said he and McGrath hadn’t seen Crouch for about a year when he showed up at the shop on Friday.
Wisdom said he spoke with him for several minutes when out of nowhere he pulled out a gun and shot McGrath. That’s when he sat down and waited for police to arrive.
When asked what Crouch said after he shot her, Wisdom replied, “She deserved it.”
According to the arrest affidavit, Crouch told police he shot McGrath for “stress relief” and called her “a drunk, a shrew and a thief.” Crouch also told officer he hated her for “taking advantage” of Wisdom.
“We split up, we argued but we still did a lot of stuff together,” said Wisdom.
Wisdom said he will miss seeing McGrath at work everyday, “She was a hoot. Everybody likes her. It’s sad. It’s a loss for everyone.”
Crouch is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday to face charges of first degree murder.
There is a memorial service planned for Mary McGrath at East of Sweden on Saturday.
Details will be posted on the company’s website eastofsweden.com.