Murdered Denver Woman On Phone With 911 for 13 Minutes

Why did it take Denver Police officers more than 15 minutes to arrive at the home of Kristine Kirk? She was dead by the time they got there. She spent her last 13 minutes of life on the phone with 911.

Kirk called 911 at 9:31 pm. She grew more panicked as the call progressed. She told the operator her husband was hallucinating and had taken drugs, there were kids in the house, he said he wanted her to shoot him, he went to take the gun out of the safe, and then, that he had the gun and she didn't know where to go. Those were her last words before being shot to death. Police finally arrived but it was too late.

The Kirk's home is 1.1 miles from the local police station -- a 3 minute drive. [More...]

Denver Police say something obviously went wrong, but they don't know what. The affidavit for search warrant at the Kirk home is here.

The media wants to play up that the husband ate a piece of marijuana candy while taking pain pills. I want to know why the 911 dispatch operator didn't ensure that a car reached her in time -- and why the first two officers dispatched didn't go right to the house.

The Denver Post reports the dispatch officer sent out a dispatch to 2 officers at 9:32 p.m., followed by a "code 10" (highest possible alert) at 9:45 pm. Officers arrived at 9:47 p.m.

Why did those two officers not go directly to the house at 9:32 p.m.? DPD provided this weak (and in my view, non-credible, response)to the Post:

The department has acknowledged that it has been taking longer for officers to respond to calls — delays Chief Robert White has blamed on decreasing staff and budgets.

At the same time that officers were driving to the Kirk house Monday night, other officers were being dispatched to at least one other domestic-violence call, according to dispatch recordings.

How many man-hours have Denver Police assigned to cover the 4/20 marijuana celebration this week? Did they cut back officer scheduled hours on essential services so more officers could cover the event while avoiding overtime? I have no idea, but if they did, that's not the fault of the budget, but of poor police management. 4/20 is generally a peaceful event. (Last year there was a problem, but it was an isolated event.)

Since Kirk's husband has been charged with murder and it's not a who-done-it (he was at the home when police arrived, and without being questioned, he started rambling that he had killed his wife) three young boys will now grow up without either parent. It is beyond tragic that had police arrived after 5 or 10 minutes, the gun would have still been in the safe and Kristine Kirk would be alive.

When the eventual lawsuit by the family of Kristine Kirk against Denver is settled, this will cost the taxpayers plenty.

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  • Display: Sort:
    If the lawsuit were against a CA public entity, (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 02:42:58 PM EST
    That entity would have the benefit of a line of cases holding the entity and its employee officers and 911 dispatcher did not owe a duty to the victims.

    welcome to rural america (none / 0) (#2)
    by gilligan on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 03:48:20 PM EST
    The Denver police blew it on this one, but the plain fact is that tens of millions of Americans live more than fifteen minutes drive away from any law enforcement.

    That is true (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by sj on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 04:24:15 PM EST
    It is also true that much of rural America lives more than 15 minutes away from emergency medical care.

    But that is irrelevant as far is this situation is concerned.


    Yes, I live in (none / 0) (#5)
    by Zorba on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 04:47:04 PM EST
    a very rural area, and emergency responses are a long way away.
    But this woman lived in a city, with help very near.
    So your comment has nothing whatsoever to do with this case.

    I hope this isn't OT (none / 0) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 04:57:03 PM EST
    But I live as rural as it gets and that is not really my experience.  Can't speak for any other area, I'm sure it varies greatly, but around here -and here is a 3 hour drive from an airport or anything resembling a metro area - the response times are pretty good.

    I know this because I have both law enforcement and EMTs heavily resented in my family.  My nephew who is A first responder -  here they respond to fire police and medical emergencies - lived with me for a year.  His radio was always with him.  Always.  He slept with it on his pillow. When it went off he was off.  No matter what he was doing or what the time of day or the weather.  

    Anyway, my rural experience is not as bad as yours I guess.  I would say a 15 minute reinserted time here would be very very rare.  And most likely only happen if someone was far Far back in the middle of nowhere.  And some are.


    Interesting Typo (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 05:37:13 PM EST
    I have both law enforcement and EMTs heavily resented in my family.

    It is more like (none / 0) (#8)
    by Zorba on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 05:54:35 PM EST
    A half hour, here.
    And I am talking about fire, ambulance, and police, which we and/or neighbors have experienced.
    But then, we live on top of a mountain.

    I think (none / 0) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 06:05:18 PM EST
    "Sort or rural" May fare worse that actually rural.  I don't know what your area is like but one reason it probably works here is that there are so few people.  And they pretty much know where everyone lives.

    There are very, very few people (none / 0) (#10)
    by Zorba on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 06:45:06 PM EST
    up here, too, and everyone knows where everyone else lives (it is primarily a farming area- we have a 60+ acre farm, and we are not the biggest farm up here by any means).
    And with a fire, you may get a neighboring (relatively speaking) volunteer fireman here on his own, before the trucks show up.  But it takes awhile for the volunteer firemen/women and the volunteer ambulance drivers and EMT's to get to the equipment and then show up to the emergency, since the volunteers are spread all over the place, over many miles.
    As for the police, it entirely depends upon where the nearest State Police or County Sheriff's car is, and they may be (and usually are) miles away.  We don't have regular patrols up here.

    We have the same problem here (none / 0) (#11)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 08:26:48 PM EST
    and I live in what is probably considered the exurbs. We only have a volunteer fire department and the joke is your house would probably burn down before they got there. When we lived in another party of the county but inside the city limits of the town the police were very responsive. Since we now live out of the city limits who knows how long it would take the sheriff to come because they have the entire county to deal with. So it might not be so much rural so much as the size of your county in square miles instead of population.

    Maybe I should be (none / 0) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 09:16:18 PM EST
    Happier with what we got.  

    Your (none / 0) (#16)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 06:53:20 AM EST
    area sounds pretty good for a rural area though I'm sure the more rural areas here in GA are similar IF they have the funding for the services.

    Out where I live, the fire department (none / 0) (#18)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 10:06:33 AM EST
    "saves the foundation."

    In rural Oregon there are armed (none / 0) (#22)
    by ZtoA on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 12:06:39 PM EST
    neighborhood watch patrols filling in for gaps in law enforcement. Say they can do it themselves.  Link

    The article does not mention any training (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 12:16:35 PM EST
    these armed patrols must have.

    Yeah no mention of that (none / 0) (#28)
    by ZtoA on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 06:55:12 PM EST
    No reason for (none / 0) (#27)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 05:32:11 PM EST
    That sort of patrol here.  Everyone is armed.  And everyone knows it.

    That not being a value judgment in either direction.  Just a fact.


    everyone is armed in rural Oregon too (none / 0) (#29)
    by ZtoA on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 06:57:16 PM EST
    but I gathered that these are organized groups. Not sure of the organizing principles tho.

    Happy to say I have never heard of that (none / 0) (#30)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 07:42:48 PM EST
    Happening here.  Honestly the more I hear the more I think I may have been to hard on this place.

    There are two questions (none / 0) (#4)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 04:33:29 PM EST
    1. Did the MJ interact with the pain pills and cause him to kill his wife?

    2. Why did it take the DP so long to respond?

    Both need answering.

    Your first question... (none / 0) (#12)
    by Romberry on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 08:38:09 PM EST
    ...that "needs answering" is a joke. Sorry, but it is.

    Oh, really?? (none / 0) (#13)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 08:46:05 PM EST
    You may think so but the push to legalize MJ could very well be stopped by a refusal to answer a very legitimate question.

    And remember, I have long supported changing our drug laws and so stated in TL comments for years. You may ignore your enemies but you should not your friends.


    How exactly? (none / 0) (#15)
    by sj on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:06:42 PM EST
    And remember, I have long supported changing our drug laws...
    How do you support changing of our drug laws? Do you support candidates that would work towards that? Or is it all talk/typing?

    It's all (none / 0) (#17)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 06:53:56 AM EST
    just talk from him.

    I support candidates based on the (none / 0) (#20)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 10:55:24 AM EST
    totality of their positions, not a single issue. If I demanded 100% I would never vote.

    How about you??

    I have had conversations with every one of them pointing out how silly it is to sell tobacco products everywhere but booze only in liquor stores...the lost tax revenue from MJ and how just giving away coke and morphine based drugs would be cheaper than the so-called "War On Drugs."

    If you want specifics you can Google TL. I'm tired of the snarks from folks like you who either don't keep up or who just want to be nasty.

    But to return to the specific issue... The opponents of legalization will use the MJ and pain killer mix statement  whether you want them too or not. So someone had better come up with something to refute it. And you should also know there's a study out that supposedly shows MJ use does effect the brain re memory, etc...

    Young adults who occasionally smoke marijuana show abnormalities in two key areas of their brain related to emotion, motivation, and decision making, raising concerns that they could be damaging their developing minds at a critical time, according to a new study by Boston researchers.

    Other studies have revealed brain changes among heavy marijuana users, but this research is believed to be the first to demonstrate such abnormalities in young, casual smokers.

    The Boston scientists also found that the degree of brain changes appeared to be directly related to the amount participants smoked per week.

    Researchers did not study whether those changes were linked to corresponding declines in brain function, but lead author Jodi Gilman, a psychology instructor at Harvard Medical School and a brain scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital, said such abnormalities in young brains are reason for concern.

    Boston Globe article

    You know I continue to find it amazing that today's Left requires total agreement on all issues or else they reject the person agreeing on the one issue. When I first started commenting on TL back in 2003 you could have debates with some commentators, disagree, but agree on others without the snarks. That has largely gone away. I think it relates to how social media requires snap shot judgments and very short statements.


    In other words (none / 0) (#24)
    by sj on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 02:46:52 PM EST
    You vote straight GOP. Your yammering about "social liberal" is just so much jibber jabber. The only person fooled by it is yourself.

    In other words (2.00 / 1) (#25)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 03:21:11 PM EST
    you are just a nasty person who disregards my positions of supporting gay rights, including marriage, a woman's right to chose, minority rights, drug legalization and a single payer health care system modeled after Medicare because I don't support the man made global warming hoax, think hate speech laws offend our First Amendment, believe that radical Islam is a threat and see Obama's foreign policy as the worst in the history of the country.



    talk talk talk talk talk (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by sj on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 10:48:53 PM EST
    Get back to me when you actually vote for your "social liberal" posturing.

    You've said yourself you last voted Dem for Carter. Exactly which Republicans have you voted for that support your "social liberal" positions? You can try to change the subject, but it won't change your history.


    Hmmmm, thanks for proving my point. (none / 0) (#34)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 06:54:33 PM EST
    You can't stand someone supporting part of the agenda, you require total submission.

    What's next??

    A tax based on what we oppose??



    As if... (none / 0) (#35)
    by sj on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 12:59:53 AM EST
    ... you actually had a point to prove. Just a bunch of jibber jabber.

    No, you were trying to make the point (none / 0) (#36)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 10:13:52 AM EST
    that if someone didn't vote the way you wanted them to then they couldn't support any so-called "liberal issues."

    My point remains. The "progressives" demand total submission. Very much like any radical religion.


    talk talk talk talk talk (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by sj on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 11:12:33 AM EST
    That isn't a point, that's an excuse. And no one says you have to vote Dem in order to support your "social liberalism". Your support could have been for a Green, an Independent or Republican who supported those issues. So who did you vote for that met that criteria?

    When it comes to your "social liberalism" you're all hat and no cattle.


    Actually sj (none / 0) (#38)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:13:03 PM EST
    who I voted for is none of your business.

    It should be enough for you that someone, anyone, supports the same causes you do.

    Yet, it is not because your belief system is like a religion. Perfect faith. Perfect obedience or chuck the member out.

    Crichton makes a great point.


    You give out a great deal of information (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by sj on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 05:57:31 PM EST
    in your comments. But the few brain cells you give your own comments tell me you will remember nothing about mine. Or you would have realized how laugh-out-loud ludicrous your comments are about my "perfect faith" and "perfect obedience."

    Do they teach that sort of dishonesty and lying in GOP school?

    But even if you don't remember your own comments: I still do.

    And I wouldn't click on that link even if I didn't have my current policy of avoiding youtube. Why would I? Chrichton didn't even write good fiction.

    You can have the last word. I've wasted as much time on you as I'm going to. So go ahead, think of something that your mental skills regard as clever and post it in response. I don't care. You have my permission to be as dishonest as usual in your reply.

    You will still be all hat and no cattle.


    Actually, Jim (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Yman on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 06:38:59 PM EST
    ... it perfectly demonstrates your priorities and the value of your "support" for liberal causes.  You're a "liberal" when it comes to issues that aren't really important to you. On the issues that really matter to you (i.e. the ones you base your vote on), you're identical to the most diehard Limbaugh conservative.

    It's certainly no more an (none / 0) (#41)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 12:44:52 PM EST
    irrational religion than this reflexive jihad of revenge you and some others have going against the (19 and 18) sixties left.

    And how do you have a scientific debate with someone who can't even admit that manmade greenhouse gases exist? You're like one of those anti-evolutionists who says fossils were planted by Satan.


    Just not (none / 0) (#32)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 09:53:24 AM EST
    too much gay rights, right?

    Howdy, why did I know this would (1.50 / 2) (#178)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 10:39:22 PM EST
    be,sooner or later, about Gay Rights?

    Heck Howdy, if you dislike being (none / 0) (#33)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 06:52:14 PM EST
    noted as a One Note Charlie don't blame the audience, try a different song. You'll be paid more attention to.



    The obvious lesson: get off the phone (none / 0) (#19)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 10:11:40 AM EST
    and out of the house.

    It was too late at the end of the conversation, but it wasn't when she first called 911.

    And take her "three small boys" (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 11:45:57 AM EST
    w/her. Maybe easier sd. than accomplished.

    The other lesson (none / 0) (#26)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 05:13:20 PM EST

    Living with a person having a fondness for mind altering substances can be hazardous to your health.