DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver father and husband has been formally charged with the first-degree murder of his wife. The man’s family spoke out about his alleged drug use and the police response on Friday.
Richard Kirk, 47, will be back in court and advised of the charges against him. Family members told CBS4’s Jennifer Brice the image that the public has of Richard Kirk is not the man that he is. They believe drugs played a significant role in what happened.
“He was a wonderful father; they (his children) were his whole wife. He was a great son, brother.” Richard Kirk’s sister said.
Richard Kirk’s sister says her brother was not in his right mind when he allegedly shot and killed his wife, Kristine Kirk. Family says Richard Kirk wouldn’t have hurt anyone if he didn’t have drugs in his system.
“He was hallucinating. It just wasn’t him,” his sister said.
CBS4 learned Richard Kirk bought edible marijuana and a joint from a marijuana shop on the same day of the shooting. According to the dispatch report, Kristine Kirk called police at 9:30 p.m. last Monday concerned about her husband hallucinating.
One minute onto the call Kristine Kirk told the operator the family had a weapon in the home. Two minutes into the call she said her husband asked her to shoot him and that he could be on pain medication. The operator also knew there were three children were inside the home. Thirteen minutes later Kristine Kirk said her husband was opening the safe to get the gun. Seconds later she screams and her voice not heard again.
“I am deeply concerned about the incident that occurred,” Denver Police Chief Robert White said.
White has ordered an internal investigation from the point of dispatch to arrival at the home and what actions were taken.
“Someone lost their life as it relates to this. A lot of questions; you all have raised a lot questions, citizens in the community have raised a lot of questions, which is why I felt compelled,” White said.
Several family members have told CBS4 they do not blame police for what happened in the Kirks’ home but wonder if the outcome could have been different if police arrived sooner.
“Just trying to take it day by day and be there for those three boys,” Richard Kirk’s sister said.
The closest police station from the home is located 12 blocks away at University Boulevard and Interstate 25.
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