HUDSON, Colo. (CBS4) – Mourners will remember on Saturday a 14-year-old boy killed in a murder-suicide tragedy earlier this month in Weld County.
Shawn Kilker shot and killed his son, Keith, in the family home during a standoff linked to the kidnapping of Kilker’s estranged wife, officials said.
Keith Kilker’s coach remembered him fondly this week.
“Keith was one of these hard-nosed, tough kids. I think he probably had one of the best futures I had seen in a long time,” Marcus Diamond, the football coach at Weld Central Middle School, said.
A memorial is planned for Kilker on Saturday at Weld Central High School. More than 400 are expected to attend.
“I just hope they remember what a great athlete he was, what a great kid he was more than anything,” Diamond said.
Meanwhile, authorities in Weld County have arrested three men who they say played a part in the kidnapping of Shawn Kilker’s wife, Denise, earlier this summer.
Authorities say the following men are also suspected of being accessories in the kidnapping, which happened in June: brothers Duane Taylor, 33, and Christopher Taylor, 29, as well as Phillip Ramsey, 18. One was arrested a week ago and the others were arrested this week.
All three were reportedly friends with Kilker. Court documents indicate they drove Kilker and his wife somewhere after he kidnapped her. Kilker then allegedly beat her. Sometime later the three men then drove the two to Kilker’s home where he held her against her will for several days.
The wife reported the kidnapping to deputies in July. When police investigating the case showed up at the home on Aug. 5, Kilker barricaded himself inside. His daughter, plus two men, left the home. Later he killed his son before killing himself. The son insisted on staying inside the home with his father, the sheriff’s department said, and deputies never heard shots fired at Kilker’s son.
Friends told CBS4 Kilker’s wife wanted to leave her husband because he was abusive. He had a criminal record that included assault, assault with a deadly weapon and menacing.
The Taylor brothers are being held in the Weld County Jail on bonds of $50,000 and $10,000. Ramsey has bonded out of jail.
The sheriff’s department said it hopes the arrests bring closure to the family and the community.
“It’s just a small town, and the sheriff answers to the people the citizens of Weld County and he felt and they all felt this was a priority and it needed to be handled correctly,” Sgt. Sean Standridge, a spokesman, said.
Officials with the Weld County Sheriff’s Department shared the following information about this case:
Anyone with information regarding this or any other crime is asked to call Weld County Sheriff’s Office at 970-356-4015 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-Tips (8477) where you will remain anonymous and possibly be eligible for a cash reward. Crime Stoppers may also be reached through their web site at http://northerncolorado.crimestoppersweb.com.