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Home > Topics > Health and Wellness

Man ate pot candy before shooting wife on phone with 911

It was purchased from a legal Denver dispensary; the dispatcher is on paid leave during an investigation into whether officers responded quickly enough

By Sadie Gurman
The Associated Press

DENVER — A Denver man accused of killing his wife while she was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher ate marijuana-infused candy before the attack, according to search warrants released Thursday.

Denver police are investigating if the pot influenced his behavior and also whether officers responded quickly enough to pleas for help from the woman, who was shot to death 12 minutes into the 911 call she made Monday.

Officials said Thursday that a dispatcher has been placed on paid leave during the investigation.

Kristine Kirk, 44, told dispatchers her husband bought and ate the marijuana candy and may have also taken prescription pain pills before he started hallucinating and frightening the couple's three children, the warrants state.

She pleaded with dispatchers to hurry and send officers because her husband, Richard Kirk, 47, had asked her to get a gun and shoot him. She said he was talking about the end of the world and she was "scared of what he might do."

Richard Kirk could be heard in the background of the 911 call talking about the candy he legally bought from one of Denver's pot dispensaries earlier that night, and surveillance footage from the shop captured the transaction, police said.

Detectives found a receipt for items such as "Karma Kandy Orange Ginger."

A detective who interviewed Richard Kirk after the killing noted that he appeared to be on drugs, based on his speech and inability to focus, according to the warrants. Police said he was rambling and confessed to killing his wife.

Investigators were analyzing blood samples to see whether he was under the influence of any other substances.

Richard Kirk does not remember anything of the incident, his brother, Lance Kirk, told KUSA-TV Thursday.

"He's hurting. He's hurting real bad," Lance Kirk said.

Authorities have said Richard Kirk shot his wife in the head about 12 minutes into her call with 911, after she frantically told dispatchers her husband was getting a gun from a safe.

Police Chief Robert White held a news conference Thursday but refused to provide details about the shooting or the internal investigation, nor would he say whether he thought officers took too long to respond.

"This is an ongoing investigation, and I just cannot get into anything that would remotely compromise it," he said. "Obviously something went wrong because somebody lost their life."

Officials have not released the 911 call or dispatch records publicly, but the search warrants offer new glimpses into Kristine Kirk's panicked final moments. Dispatchers could hear her telling her husband to stay down and yelling for her three young boys to go upstairs.

"At one point she tells the 911 operator to 'please hurry' because he was scaring the kids and he was 'totally hallucinating,'" the documents say.

Moments later, Kristine Kirk sounded "panicked" as she told dispatchers her husband was retrieving a gun from a safe.

"She next related that he had the gun and she did not know where to go," the warrants say. Within a few seconds, dispatchers could hear her screaming. There was a single gunshot before the line went quiet.

Officers arrived just after the shooting and found her dead of a gunshot wound to the head.

The Denver Police Department has struggled with slowing response times in recent months as the number of officers has decreased due to retirements, departures and budget cuts that kept the department from hiring for five years.

Associated PressCopyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Disagreement exists about the reasons for the delays. The police union has said White's staffing changes and sweeping reorganization of the department have worsened the problem. White denied that claim Thursday and said he expects response times to improve as newly hired officers hit the streets.

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Jakub Nowosielski Jakub Nowosielski Friday, April 18, 2014 11:22:41 AM What a load of fucking bullshit, no it wasn't the chemically synthesized pill. It had to be the weed... the person that wrote this article is a ignorant moron, that really should open a few books on Human Physiology and Botany, before you open your retarded mouth and spew more shit.
Chris Loki Hunter Chris Loki Hunter Friday, April 18, 2014 11:42:53 AM I couldnt have said it better jakub
Donnie Archer Donnie Archer Friday, April 18, 2014 11:46:53 AM My thoughts as well. "He took some unknown pain pills (maybe but for all we know it could have been meth) AND THAT DEVIL'S GRASS MARIJUANA THAT MAKES YOU KILL AND RAPE CHILDREN" Inability to focus sounds like speed of some sort to me. But I am no doctor.
Steve Jacobi Steve Jacobi Friday, April 18, 2014 1:16:48 PM Looks like you should take a basic pharmacology class along with one for reading. The police KNEW he ate the candy. They were not sure he took the pills and will not know until the test results are released. The article clearly states this.
Lucille Mel MacDonald Lucille Mel MacDonald Friday, April 18, 2014 1:30:28 PM I have never been to a domestic dispute in 24 years that was due to smoking pot! Alcohol is almost always the main factor and/or other drugs. Not pot!
Royce Edwards Royce Edwards Friday, April 18, 2014 3:48:27 PM Sounds like a number of elements added to this tragedy. A police call that lasted 12 minutes and ended when the caller was shot in the head bears looking into. Also, "Karma Kandy Orange Ginger" may well have included other ingredients besides marijuana which caused him to hallucinate. There is no doubt that this whole episode ended tragically, for the dead wife, the arrested husband and the three children who have lost one parent forever and another for a long, long time.
Bobble Myfullname Bobble Myfullname Friday, April 18, 2014 7:01:27 PM Genius post. Did you run out of expletives and had to quit typing? How come all you pro-weed types are always the angriest? You should post on 9news or because you'd fit right in with the rest of the angry hippies on those sites
Jakub Nowosielski Jakub Nowosielski Friday, April 18, 2014 7:14:00 PM Bobble Myfullname I don't smoke weed, but I am a science major. Be careful who you judge, because right now you sound like the angry hippy. You apperently are an ingorent ass hole as well that think he can every ammount to anything. Eat a dick :)
Bobble Myfullname Bobble Myfullname Friday, April 18, 2014 7:56:26 PM Jakub Nowosielski Yea that's what I thought. Good luck in school rocket scientist.
Jakub Nowosielski Jakub Nowosielski Friday, April 18, 2014 8:04:51 PM Bobble Myfullname Will do. but you go eat a dick ok :)
Bobble Myfullname Bobble Myfullname Friday, April 18, 2014 9:53:15 PM Jakub Nowosielski No I don't think so. You still haven't figured out I'm making of you because you can't communicate without a sentence full of expletives.
Jakub Nowosielski Jakub Nowosielski Friday, April 18, 2014 10:21:25 PM Bobble Myfullname Ahh well very well then, I see you are eating that dick. Enjoy :)
Sharon Springer Sharon Springer Saturday, April 19, 2014 6:00:49 AM I AGREE! Never been to a wreck, or bar fight because of pot either! Just another BS reason why police can't respond in a timely manner.
Dan Greek Dan Greek Saturday, April 19, 2014 6:38:13 AM Strange the government is looking at pot for the reason. I have eaten pot candy, pot brownies on numerous occasions. Nope never once have I wanted to kill someone.
Shiorca Tasker-Lynch Shiorca Tasker-Lynch Saturday, April 19, 2014 10:56:05 AM I know friends who use pot, they are harmless.
Stephen Krafft Stephen Krafft Saturday, April 19, 2014 12:00:07 PM Yeah, why no mention of the prescription drugs he took in the headline? Only time I've ever hallucinated was when I had morphine...
Matt Gonzalez Matt Gonzalez Sunday, April 20, 2014 11:05:36 AM sad story but you have to be a completely IGNORANT MORON to even think this happened because of weed. he obviously had to be on some other kind of drugs or something, or the edible he ate was laced with something. they need to investigate the dispensary he got it from. people don't hallucinate on THC.
J.t. Cantrell J.t. Cantrell Tuesday, April 22, 2014 6:45:20 AM Just a bit of food for thought here. Just suppose the pot had been laced with something like PCP. Patients that have smoked a "sherm" are more than a handful.

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