An Observatory Park woman urged police in a 911 call to hurry while her husband ranted about eating marijuana candy and the end of the world moments before he allegedly shot her to death.
The woman said her husband also might have taken painkillers, according to a search warrant affidavit released Thursday.
Richard Kirk, who faces a first-degree murder charge, purchased marijuana candy around 6:40 p.m. Monday, according to the affidavit.
Almost three hours later — at 9:31 p.m. — Kristine A. Kirk called 911 and reported that her husband was talking about the end of the world, asking her to shoot him and “totally hallucinating.”
The 44-year-old woman spent 13 minutes on the phone with the 911 operator. According to dispatch recordings from Monday night, it took officers more than 15 minutes to arrive at the Observatory Park home.
Following protocol, the dispatcher communicating with officers en route to the home was placed on paid administrative leave on Tuesday, according to Daelene Mix, spokeswoman for the Denver Department of Public Safety.
On Thursday, Denver Police Chief Robert White said he has launched an internal investigation into the police department’s response. White declined to discuss details of the investigation or provide a timeline of when officers arrived at the home.
Asked whether he felt the response time in this case was appropriate, White said: “I would like response times to be 30 seconds.”
On the call, Kristine “can be heard telling ‘Richard’ to stay down and yelling for her kids to go downstairs,” the affidavit said.
At one point, she told the operator to “please hurry” because her husband was scaring the couple’s three young sons. The affidavit does not specify at what point during the call Kristine asked officers to hurry, or when she became panicked because her husband had removed a handgun from a safe.
“She next related that he had the gun and she did not know where to go,” the affidavit said.
Seconds later, Kristine is heard screaming on the phone. Her screaming stopped after the detective listening to the 911 recording heard a gunshot, according to the affidavit.
Investigators found Kristine dead from a gunshot wound to the head inside the home. Kirk continued to ramble after he was placed in a patrol car where he told officers “he was the strongest in the Church of Latter-day Saints and he had killed his wife,” according to the affidavit.
Inside the basement of the home, located in the 2100 block of South St. Paul Street, detectives found a receipt from Nutritional Elements, a marijuana store in southeast Denver. The receipt and a review of video surveillance from the store show that Kirk purchased “Karma Kandy Orange Ginger,” a candy form of edible marijuana, and “Pre 98 Bubba Kush Pre-Roll,” a prerolled joint.
Police also found a black semiautomatic handgun on the floor of the home’s front room and a cartridge in the hallway, the affidavit said.
During the 911 call, Kirk could be heard talking about eating marijuana “candy.” Detectives did not find the joint during a search of the home and Kirk’s vehicle.
A detective who spoke to Kirk after the shooting said he “appeared to be under the influence of some type of controlled substance and/or prescription pill based upon his speech patterns, his inability to focus and his pupils,” the affidavit said.
Jordan Steffen: 303-954-1794, email@example.com or twitter.com/jsteffendp