A sheriff's deputy in Florida murdered his wife and then himself in their home while their four children were in the house, according to authorities.
Kirk Keithley, 39, a deputy with the Hillsborough County sheriff’s office, was found dead early Monday morning, after a child in the home called 911. When deputies arrived on scene, they found his wife Samantha on the couch with a fatal gunshot wound, a spokesperson for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office told Oxygen.com.
"It looks like a cut and dry murder suicide," spokesperson Kevin Doll said. "He shot and killed his wife while she was sitting on the couch then he went upstairs and killed himself."
In a 911 call released by the Pasco sheriff's office on Tuesday, a boy in the house ran down the street and pleaded with the operator.
"My mom's been shot, my mom's been shot," the boy said. "Oh my god. My stepdad just shot my mom in the head."
The operator asked for the boy's address.
"Help me," the boy said, sobbing.
He explained that his parents had been arguing, and then his mother went to a hotel but came back.
"I heard a gunshot," he said. "I walked outside and she was bloody.... I walked outside and my mom was f-ing dead."
There were four children in the house at the time of the shooting, Doll said. Each parent had a child from a previous marriage and they had two of their own. The kids were unharmed.
"What a terrible tragedy for those children," Doll said, adding that he does not expect any more investigation into the matter.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said he was appalled by Kirk Keithley's actions.
“Unfortunately, last night, one of our deputies was involved in a tragic event where he took his wife's life and then his own. I cannot begin to express how disheartened I am. Domestic violence has no place in our society," he said, as quoted in a press release by the department. "I ask that everyone join me and the rest of our office and pray for those innocent children who are left behind and have to pick up the pieces. This is something that is impossible to comprehend for even the most seasoned person."
Kirk Keithley was hired by the department in June of 2009, and he previously worked with the St. Petersburg Police Department. He has two citations on his record, according to the HCSO release—one in 2011, where he received a letter of counseling for an avoidable traffic crash, and one in 2016 for misuse of communications facilities. He got a letter of counseling for that one.
Before the murders, Samantha Keithley was texting a friend that her husband was acting crazy, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
“Kirk has lost his mind Kristin,” she wrote to her friend Kristin Kellin. “He’s literally losing it. He’s been harassing me for the last 6 hours and I’ve asked him repeatedly to just leave me alone because I’m sick.”
Then she said: "I just chucked my ring outside," WTSP in Tampa reported.
In an early morning press conference after the murders, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said there were no previous 911 calls to the residence. He harshly rebuked Kirk Keithley actions.
"Domestic violence is a horrendous act that goes on in every community and the moment that any individual goes from protecting people to harming people loses the right—no matter what agency they're with—to call themselves a law enforcement officer," Nocco said. "Once you stop protecting people we don't consider you a law enforcement officer."