The April 14 murder of Kris Kirk immediately caused a media furor. For one thing, she had been on the phone with a 911 operator for an extended period of time when her husband, Richard Kirk, allegedly shot her to death. For another, a warrant revealed that Richard has consumed a marijuana edible prior to pulling the trigger, leading to heavy hype over pot candy. (See update below.)
Through it all, Kirk's family has remained silent. But now, they've spoken out, as well as releasing a moving statement that ignores the cannabis edibles debate to focus on Kris and the loves of her life -- the three sons she left behind. See the complete statement, new photos and more below.
In addition to meeting the press, Kris's sister, Tammy Heman, assembled a reflection shared by the Denver District Attorney's Office along with a number of family photos featuring Kris and her kids, including this one:
That's appropriate, given the content of Hemans' release. The entire document is on view below, but here's an excerpt:
It has been four months since the most horrifying and still-inconceivable tragedy occurred in our family when Kris was brutally shot and killed by her husband in their home. It still feels very raw. In the days and weeks immediately after, the shock, grief, horror and disbelief we felt were all-consuming. We know there has been a lot of media attention around this and we were contacted several times for comment. We simply were in no condition to speak with anyone. Our sole focus has been teh boys. They have been in our care (my parents and I) since the night of the incident. All we could do is cry together, hug and console one another. Since then, their healing and return to some sort of stabily and "new normal" has been our main priority.
For Kris's sons, Heman continues, "the loss is immeasurable. They were extremely close to their mom. She was supportive, protective and actively involved in every aspect of their lives. She was their biggest fan whether at school, home or on the sports field. She was their 'go-to' person for everything. And they were her greatest pride and accomplishment in life. She loved them unconditionally and she always put them first, before her needs. Her close bond and relationship with them was something to envy and that can never be replaced."
Heman stresses that the boys remain "remarkable people -- loving, bright, funny and sensitive. They keep us going." But she's under no illusions that the road will be smoother from here on out. Another passage:
We know there is a long road ahead filled with many challenges -- especially since we are only now skimming the surface of the emotions caused by the horror of that night and teh profound sense of loss we feel without her. The boys are our motivation now and it is our greatest hope that they can still have a happy life. We are committed to giving them the best possible chance for that. We want to continue Kris's legacy of raising them to be strong, independent and loving young men. And education is a big part of that.
Below, see a 7News report featuring an interview with Kris's family, followed by Heman's statement.
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Update: The original version of this post noted that initial reports suggested Richard Kirk may have taken prescription back medication prior to the shooting. However, the Denver District Attorney's Office informs us that blood tests showed only a low-level presence of THC. The text above has been changed to reflect this information.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.