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A Washington, D.C. homicide detective was shot to death by his wife, who later turned the gun on herself, in an apparent murder-suicide, law enforcement said.
The bodies of Timothy Eugene Francis and his wife Christina Lynn Francis were found in their Waldorf, Maryland home by authorities on Friday, after a relative tipped off authorities, the Washington Post reported.
Investigators with the Charles County Sheriff’s Office suspect Timothy Francis, a veteran city cop, was gunned down by his spouse, who later shot herself, according to NBC affiliate WRC-TV.
“In an effort to minimize any rumors, preliminarily it appears he was the victim of this tragic offense,” Capt. Carlos T. Heraud said.
Authorities didn’t specify what evidence led them to conclude Francis’ wife pulled the trigger. The investigation remains open and ongoing.
Timothy Francis served as a police officer for two decades prior to his death, according to the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.
“Mourning the tragic loss of our colleague and friend is extremely difficult,” outgoing Police Chief Peter Newsham said in a statement on Saturday. “Detective Francis spent two decades protecting the community from violence, and to learn that he was the victim of a homicide is heartbreaking.”
Other police colleagues said blue blood ran deep in the homicide detectives’ family.
“His father was also a detective that worked nearly 45 years for MPD,” Greggory Pemberton, the chairman of the D.C. Police Union, told the Washington Post.
Pemberton said he’s still “reeling” from the shock of Francis’ death.
“He was one of the best detectives I’ve had the pleasure of working with,” he added. “Tim was a stand-up guy that always held his ground.”
The veteran homicide detective was also well respected by prosecutors in the district.
“He was smart, he worked hard, and he had a soft touch,” Justin Dillon, a former federal prosecutor, told the Washington Post. “He could get the young guy or the old lady from the neighborhood to talk to him, and he could wrap it all up in a neat package for a prosecutor.”
“I love you and what we had together,” she wrote in the post, which is riddled with grammatical errors. "[We] got lost in petty s--t you believed was a mistake."
One neighbor also reported seeing Christine Francis out for a walk shortly before gunfire erupted.
“She had just walked past me walking her dog ... and an hour and a half later, we heard the police sirens," Delancey Praylow III told WUSA.
Praylow described the couple as “good folks.”
“It’s sad because it feels like one of your own family members because we were all tight like that,” she added.
Other neighbors who knew the couple were equally shocked to learn of the shooting.
“You never know what people go through," Demetrius Wilson also told the CBS affiliate. “I’ll miss him.”
Wilson said he knew the couple, who had two children, for about two years. He described the 50-year-old as a “family man.”
"He loved his kids,” he added. “And he loved life.”
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