Denver woman shot dead while on phone with dispatcher for 13 minutes

Denver police are investigating if a 911 call was handled properly after they say a woman was fatally shot Monday by her husband during a 13-minute call with the operator. reported that Kristine Kirk, a mother of three, was shot after her husband, Richard, was talking about the end of the world and asking her to shoot him. She refused, and police said he shot her.

"Any time a person dies while communicating with Denver's emergency services, we examine the circumstances to ensure that the incident was handled properly and we look for areas to improve upon," said police spokesman Sonny Jackson.

A judge ordered her husband, Richard Kirk, 47, held without bond after his first court appearance Wednesday. Kirk wore a grey jail uniform and showed no emotion. He faces first-degree murder charges and was being represented by a public defender, who declined to comment.

Sources told the station that her husband may have ingested edible marijuana. He had no violent history, the report said.

"My heart goes out to those three boys and Kris’ family. Mom, dad, sister and brothers. This is a terrible thing," Lance Kirk, Richard's brother, said. One of the children may have witnessed the shooting, a source said.

Police officials said their internal investigation will focus on the time it took for officers to respond to the home and whether dispatchers properly prioritized the woman's call, which is characterized in court paperwork as a "domestic disturbance."

Denver police have struggled with slowing response times in recent months as the department's ranks have shrunk due to retirements, departures and budget cuts.

Officials have refused to release the 911 call or dispatch records, citing the open investigation.

Kirk's father, also Richard Kirk, said the family is shocked, as the couple had shown no signs of marital distress. He visited the family in January and was unaware of any drug use by his son.

"It was a great family," he said. "He seemed very happy."

Kirk said police had not given him any information about how the 911 call was handled.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.