Monday, January 21, 2013

Grapevine, TX: Estranged husband kills wife, self at daughter’s birthday party in Grapevine

GRAPEVINE — A teenage girl’s birthday party turned tragic Saturday night when her father killed her mother and then himself, police said.
Kristi Suckla was celebrating her daughter’s birthday when her estranged husband arrived at the party. Kelly Suckla argued with his wife outside her parents’ home before shooting her about 10 p.m., police said. He then fatally shot himself.
Police were called to the house, in the 3000 block of Creekview Drive, after neighbors heard gunshots and saw the couple lying on the ground, said Sgt. Robert Eberling, Grapevine police spokesman.
Officers found Kristi Suckla, 44, lying by the front door with multiple gunshot wounds to her neck and body. She was taken to Baylor Medical Center at Grapevine, where she later died, police said. The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office ruled her death a homicide.
Kelly Suckla, 43, was found dead in the walkway to the house, police said. The medical examiner said he died of a gunshot wound to the head and declared his death a suicide.
The couple lived together in Euless before separating, police said. Kristi Suckla had been living at her parents’ home with the couple’s two children, Eberling said. Their 16-year-old daughter and 21-year-old son were not injured.
Grapevine police said they will work with Euless police to determine if there was a history of domestic violence, Eberling said.
Jared West, who lives across the street from Kristi Suckla’s parents, said he called 911 after he heard gunshots Saturday night. He said he heard two shots fire quickly, and then a third after a brief pause. He said violence is unusual for the quiet, residential neighborhood not far from Grapevine High School.
“Hear a dog bark every now and then, that’s the worst it gets,” West said. “It’s just a tragedy.”
The murder-suicide was the latest in a string of recent domestic violence slayings in North Texas.
In Grand Prairie, police said a woman was killed by her estranged boyfriend and the father of her 13-month-old child on Jan. 13. In Little Elm, police said a woman was shot by her estranged husband in a murder-suicide Jan. 10.
Dallas has had four domestic violence-related slayings this month, including Karen Cox Smith, who was gunned down by her estranged husband in a UT Southwestern parking garage, police said.
Leaders in Dallas, including Mayor Mike Rawlings, spoke out against domestic violence last week and announced plans to help reduce it. City officials will hold a candlelight vigil for victims of domestic violence Wednesday at 6 p.m. at City Hall Plaza.;

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