Man ate pot candy before shooting wife while she was on phone with 911, police say

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A man accused of killing his wife while she frantically spoke to a 911 operator ate marijuana candy just hours before the deadly shooting, according to KDVR.

Now Richard Kirk, 47, faces a first-degree murder charge. And authorities are facing questions about why it took them so long to reach the family’s Denver home.

For nearly 13 minutes, Kristine Kirk told 911 she feared for herself and their three scared children. She screamed when her husband went to the family safe and grabbed a gun.

The 911 operator heard what sounded like a gunshot.

Then “the screaming stopped,” Denver Police Detective Mark Crider wrote in a search warrant affidavit. And Kristine Kirk, the detective wrote, was “never heard from again.”

When they arrived at her house, investigators found her dead on the floor with an apparent gunshot wound to the head.

Receipts and security camera footage showed Richard Kirk had purchased a candy called “Karma Kandy Orange Ginger” at a marijuana store in southeast Denver at 6:40 p.m. that night, the affidavit says. Investigators said they’ll examine a blood sample to determine whether Kirk was under the influence of any substances at the time of the shooting.

During her 911 call made just after 9:30 p.m., according to the affidavit, Kristine Kirk said her husband “had taken some marijuana and possibly some prescription medication for back pain.”

“Please hurry,” she told the dispatcher, adding that her husband was “totally hallucinating” and scaring their kids, the affidavit says.

The affidavit says Kristine Kirk sounded “panicked” but does not specify at what point in the 911 call her tone changed.

After authorities arrested Richard Kirk, the affidavit says, he started “rambling to himself” and told an officer “that he was the strongest in the Church of Latter Day Saints and he had killed his wife.” At the time, police believed he was under the influence of a controlled substance or prescription medication “based upon his speech patterns, his inability to focus and his pupils,” the affidavit says.

Colorado became the first state in the nation to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana, allowing pot stores to open for business on January 1.

At a court hearing Wednesday, Richard Kirk was ordered held without bail on an accusation of first-degree murder.

In response to questions about the incident, Denver Police Chief Robert White told reporters Thursday he had opened an internal review of why it took officers more than 12 minutes to respond, CNN affiliate KUSA reported.

“We want to know how long it took our officers from the time they were dispatched to get to that particular call,” he said.

Investigators will look at the time it took operators, dispatchers and police officers to handle the call, he said.

“We are going to look at all nuances in this situation. What, if anything, went wrong from our perspective? What we can do to mitigate instances like that in the future?” White said, according to KUSA.

A dispatcher has been placed on leave pending the investigation into the incident, the CNN affiliate reported, citing police officials.

The city of Denver auditor’s office this year began studying police response times, which have grown longer in recent years, the Denver Post reported. The report is expected in June, and police have cited fewer officers and limited budgets for hiring more officers since 2008 as causes for longer response times, the newspaper reported.

Kirk admitted that he killed his wife — “without questioning,” another police document says — when an officer put him in the backseat of a patrol car, the probable cause document says.

Lance Kirk, brother of Richard Kirk, told CNN affiliate KWGN that he was stunned to hear of the incident.

“I know that wasn’t Richard — let’s just say that,” Lance Kirk told the news outlet. “I hope there are some answers that come out about this.”


  • FaithC

    So he bought pot candy and then killed his wife and acted crazy in front of the cops. Sounds like he wanted to kill his wife and then plead insane to try to get away with it.

  • dewey

    this dude was on something a lot harder…they mention the pot candy in the headline, but then add prescription meds later in the story….

  • Adam Z.

    Marijuana is not a hallucinogenic drug. He must have been on something more than what is being reported at this time.

    • justin

      Yeah actually its classified as an hallucinogenic. Its not like lsd dmt 2tci 4ecco dmt, ect. But it is one. But its apparent its not the weed. But ya

  • josh

    This is why as I grow older I realize the news is a bigger joke that the Saturday morning cartoons I used to watch. Steering and misleading people is so common place.

  • justin

    Please be honest. He ate something. He also took pain killers which actually have greater side effects then weed. Like I said be honest with the title of the story. You make it seem like he ate a brownie and becauae of it went on a killing spree. This only promotes ignorance on a lvl thats just as stupid.

  • B

    And the journey begins for the pot smoking/eating State. Good luck with all the death that comes with it. Do you think that people are not going to mix their drugs and alcohol? People that smoke pot will also use other drugs along with the alcohol. That is a known fact.

  • jesse

    What is wrong with you fox8!? Why can’t you cover news worth covering!? There is much more going on in our country and with our government than this misleading article! Get off the internet and go out and find your own stories!

  • ashley

    I’d like to point out he also might’ve taken ” some prescription medication for back pain.”” . The title suggests it was just the “pot candy”. Sounds like someone has put a little bit of their own personal opinions into the title of this article.

    • ashley

      AND I think the big deal here is the 13 minute police response when the woman was clearly in danger.

  • Wesley Edwards

    “had taken some marijuana” thats like someone saying oh yeah I took some cigarettes earlier. they could have been on the same level saying he injected some marijuanas

  • B

    dewey dew you sound like a experienced pot user. I’m glad you keep you’re consumption of beer/liquor separate from you’re pot smoking. However, as you well know marijuana stays in your system for days so be careful and stay out of jail.

    • dewey

      unlike most, I hold a prescription….and no, I’m not in NC, just spent the first 30 years of my life there….drinkin beer and smokin weed is like p!ss!ng in the wind

    • dewey

      its cool, I knew what you meant….and in all honesty, I think I may have drank a case of beer last summer….alcohol ain’t my thing

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