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DPD Chief: ‘Obviously Something Went Wrong’ In Shooting Response

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DENVER (CBS4)- Denver Police Chief John White is concerned about the amount of time the victim was on the phone before help arrived in a recent deadly shooting where the woman’s husband allegedly killed her.

Police believe Richard Kirk killed his wife while she was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher. Detectives say he bought marijuana-infused candy before the shooting.

Police in Denver are investigating if the pot influenced his behavior and whether he may have also had prescription drugs in his system.

White is concerned whether police responded quickly enough to pleas for help from the woman, who was shot to death 12 minutes into the 911 call she made Monday.

“To some degree it is a situation by situation and obviously as it relates to this particular incident we’re going to look at all of those nuances and determine what, if anything, went wrong from our perspective, obviously something went wrong because someone lost their life,” said White.

According to the search warrant, Kristine, 44, told dispatchers her husband bought and ate the marijuana candy and may have also taken prescription pain pills before he started hallucinating and frightening the couple’s three children, the warrants state.

Kristine Kirk (credit: Facebook)

Kristine Kirk (credit: Facebook)

Kristine called 911 at 9:30 p.m. on Monday with concerns her husband was hallucinating and possibly under the influence of marijuana.

Richard could be heard in the background of the 911 call talking about the candy he legally bought from one of Denver’s pot dispensaries earlier that night, and surveillance footage from the shop captured the transaction, police said.

About one minute into the call she told the 911 operators the family had a weapon inside the home.

By 9:32 p.m. Kristine was telling the operator her husband was asking her to shoot him and that he was possibly on pain medication and their three children were inside the home.

At 9:43 p.m. Kristine relayed that her husband was opening the safe to get the gun. Seconds later she screamed and her voice was never heard again.

Two minutes later at 9:45 p.m. an officer on the way to the scene learned too late that things had escalated. That same officer asked the dispatcher to try to make a connection with Kristine again but there was nothing.

White has ordered an internal investigation into the call and the 13-minute time frame from when Kristine first called to the point where the line went dead.

Richard Kirk (credit: Denver Police Department)

Richard Kirk (credit: Denver Police Department)


A detective who interviewed Richard Kirk after the killing noted that he appeared to be on drugs, based on his speech and inability to focus, according to the warrants. Police said he was rambling and confessed to killing his wife.

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