KUSA - People living in a quiet Denver neighborhood are still trying to come to terms with the murder of a mother in her own home on Monday night. According to a Denver Police report 47-year-old Richard Kirk told officers that he killed his wife, 44-year-old Kristine Kirk, while she was on the phone with 911.
It happened around 9:30 p.m. on Monday in the 2100 block of South St. Paul Street. Law enforcement sources tell 9News that Kristine told the 911 dispatcher her husband Richard Kirk may have eaten marijuana edibles and that he was hallucinating and scaring their three young children.
"I can't get necessarily into specifics about that, but we are looking at a marijuana aspect of this investigation to see if it did play a role in this particular crime," said Denver Police spokesperson Sonny Jackson.
A longtime friend who did not want to be identified, but knows the Kirk family, tells 9News that Richard Kirk is a religious man, happy-go-lucky and very friendly, who as not known for being violent. The friend also said that Kristine Kirk was an amazing mother and good friend. They are stunned by what happened. It is a shock shared by many in the neighborhood where the crime scene tape remains a stark reminder of what unfolded there.
"It's just a big loss. She was a nice gal," said neighbor Erin Coyne.
Richard Kirk has a prior arrest in Douglas County for driving under the influence and careless driving.
A police source tells 9 News that it did not appear cops had ever been called to the home before.
Neighbors say they are still coming to grips with what happened.
"Just kind of shocking and it's almost just incredible that something like this would happen," Coyne said.
Those who knew Kristine and her children stopped by the house on Tuesday, leaving flowers and messages.
"We want to show that our community is here to support the family and that we are here for them," said neighbor Lily Weiner.
Even those who know the youngest members of the family were not immune.
"He's one of my best friends and I'm really sad for him," said Dalia Gutierrez Arias, who is friends with one of the Kirk's children. "I cried twice."
Kristine Kirk was on the phone with 9-1-1 for 12 minutes before she was shot. Denver Police said that's not unusual because the call originally came in as non-life threatening, but they plan to look into the circumstances of that call to make sure it was handled properly.
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