A Texas girl’s 16th birthday party ended in tragedy over the weekend after her father killed his estranged wife and then himself.
Grapevine police said 43-year-old Kelly Suckla argued with his 44-year-old wife, Kristi, before shooting her at about 10 p.m. during the party on Saturday, according to The Dallas Morning News. Kelly Suckla then turned the gun on himself.
Kristi Suckla suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the neck and body. She was pronounced dead about 40 minutes later at Baylor Medical Center. Kelly Suckla died of a single gunshot to the head, which was ruled a suicide by the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office.
Police said that Kristi Suckla had remained friendly with her husband after separating and moving to her parents home about two months ago. Investigators were working to determine if Kelly Suckla had a history of violence.
The number of domestic violence murders in the Dallas area has more than doubled in the last year, from 10 in 2011 to 26 in 2012.
“It just seems like it’s gotten more extreme,” Paige Flink, who runs The Family Place battered women’s shelter, told WFAA, adding that the viciousness of the attacks seemed to be escalating.
“In the past, what we would see is pushing, shoving, bruises… but not the use of knives and guns,” she said. “It’s extreme violence.”
At least four domestic violence-related murders were reported in Dallas this month alone. A candlelight vigil will be held at City Hall Plaza on Wednesday at 6 p.m. for the victims of domestic violence, the city announced last week.
Watch the video below from WFAA, broadcast Jan. 20, 2013.