Response time reviewed after woman killed during call

DENVER – Denver Police Chief Robert White told reporters Thursday that he has opened an internal review of why it took officers more than 12 minutes to respond to a woman shot and killed while on the phone with 911.

White opened the Thursday press conference saying he was deeply concerned about the response time to Monday night's call but was unable to share much about the investigation.

"We are going to look at all nuances in this situation. What, if anything, went wrong from our perspective? What we can do to mitigate instances like that in the future?" White said.

Authorities say 47-year-old Richard Kirk shot his wife in the head about 12 minutes into her call with 911. Police say she told dispatchers her husband was getting a gun from a safe before a gunshot sounded and the line went quiet.

According to search warrants released Thursday, 44-year-old Kristine Kirk told dispatchers her husband bought and ate marijuana candy before he started hallucinating and frightening the couple's three children. Police say Richard Kirk also may have taken prescription pain medication before he began acting erratically.

READ: Man accused of killing wife took meds, ate pot

Court records do not say at which time during the call Kristine told the 911 operator to "hurry" or indicated she was in physical danger.

White said response time is based on the urgency of the call. He said communication between the caller, the 911 operator and the dispatcher is important to determine the priority of the call.

The dispatcher for the call was placed on leave pending the investigation, according to Denver police. The 911 operator is still on the job.

Denver police released the statistics on their average response time for a call classified as "domestic violence in progress." The calls also have subcategories of priority one and two. Kris' call was a priority-one call.

In 2013, priority one calls, or those of highest priority, had a 14-minute response time. Priority two calls had a 20.38-minute response time. In 2014, priority-one calls have a 13.71-minute response time.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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