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Man Allegedly Admits Shooting Ballerina Wife In Middle Of Night, Claims He Was Startled

Christopher Hoopes allegedly called 911 in the middle of the night to state that he shot his wife, Colleen Hoopes, after she'd startled him. He's now been charged with her murder.


By Gina Tron
A portrait of Colleen Hoopes

An Arizona man allegedly admitted to fatally shooting his ballerina wife, but claimed he did so after she startled him in the middle of the night.

On Friday at approximately 3:45 am, Christopher Hoopes, 36, called 911 to state that "he was startled by his wife in the middle of the night and subsequently shot her,” according to a press release from the Tempe Police Department.

When first responders arrived on the scene, they found 25-year-old Colleen Hoopes inside the home "with a gunshot wound." She was transported to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead. Investigators say that she was shot two times with a 9mm handgun, Fox 10 Phoenix reports. Her husband, police say, called 911 four minutes after shooting her.

Police charged Christopher with second-degree murder and unlawful discharge of a weapon in regards to her death. He was booked on a $750,000 secured bond. It’s not clear if he has a lawyer.

Colleen, who was originally from Rochester, New York, is being remembered as a dedicated ballerina.

"From the time she was two and a half, she said, ‘I want to be a ballerina,’ and I said, ‘We don’t have money for dance lessons. We can't take dance lessons until you're four,' and she kept saying, ‘Am I four yet, am I four yet?’" her mother, Deb Buckley, told Fox 10.

Colleen joined Ballet Arizona in 2017 as a company dancer and had roles in performances including “Nutcracker,” “Sleeping Beauty” and “Cinderella.” She held a degree in ballet. 

Ballet Arizona had previously celebrated her work. In a statement obtained by Fox 10, they stated: "We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of company dancer, Colleen Hoopes. Colleen was an integral part of the Ballet Arizona family and will be missed deeply. She was passionate and dedicated to her art form and a bright light to us all. Our hearts go out to her loved ones."

"She lives for joy,” her mother told Fox 10. “Her loves in her life were dance and God. She was a devout Catholic.”