Update: Last week, we told you about a police shooting in Canon City in which the suspect in the murder of his wife was killed, allegedly after he ended a standoff by bursting out of an RV firing guns he held in each hand. See our previous coverage below.
The couple at the center of this tragic case has been identified as Marsha and Stan Watson — and Stan actually posted on Facebook during the standoff with law enforcers.
Among the items he shared: a confession that he'd shot Marsha and the couple's dog, Dakota, a hope that police would kill him, and the cancellation of a lunch appointment for the next day.
Stan's Facebook page remains online at this writing, and while the exchange in question isn't visible to all visitors, a number of other items are.
All of those the average person can see are benign — complaints about a turkey ordered at a local barbecue joint being too salty, a pic of a first snowfall. But one post from late 2009 stands out. It reads:
Started 7th chemo Monday — pump comes off on Wednesday - that's 7 of 10 — just 3 more. Looking ahead to those last three — that puts last treatment Feb. 8-10th.
The significance of the item?
According to KKTV, Stan's cancer had recently recurred. Marsha's family members speculate that his deteriorating health may have led to escalating tension between him and his spouse of nearly two decades.
But they add that they hadn't heard about anything to suggest he was about to snap.
This appears to be what took place.
As we noted below, Canon City Police Officers were dispatched to the RV park where the couple lived on a report of shots fired.
Upon their arrival, they found a woman — Marsha — dead just outside their motor home, with Stan holed up inside.
SWAT officers subsequently arrived at the scene and a standoff that lasted for hours followed.
The delay allowed Stan to share the following Facebook statement obtained by KKTV. The station blacked out his name and Marsha's because they hadn't been officially identified at the time its story was broadcast.
What followed was a Facebook conversation between Stan and a number of his Facebook friends. Here's a KKTV screen capture of the entire exchange....
...and here's a closeup of his cancellation of lunch plans:
Because Stan had shut down communications after a ten-minute conversation with a SWAT negotiator, personnel at the scene eventually decided to shoot powder pepper spray into the RV.
What happened next is described in a police report like so:
As soon as that projectile hit the window, instantaneously the door to the motor home swing open and he [the suspect] was standing in the doorway.... In each hand was a handgun and he began firing each handgun at the officers.
The officers on the scene returned fire, and Stan was killed.
The only surviving resident of the RV was Dakota, the couple's dog, whose photo served as Stan's profile pic:
The dog is expected to survive after being shot. Once he returns to health, he'll be available for adoption.
Look below to see KKTV's report. That's followed by our previous coverage.
The issue is a matter of debate in plenty of smaller communities, too.
Take Canon City, which has seen four officer-involved shootings over the past sixteen months, ending in the death of two suspects and injuries to others.
The latest incident took place early yesterday, April 15. That's when a man was gunned down by officers after an alleged double-fisted pistol attack that followed the violent death of a woman and hours of failed negotiations.
Continue for the details, featuring photos, a video and more.
The location was the Canon City RV Campground, on the 3000 block of East Main Street. The area is captured in the following interactive graphic. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
According to the Canon City Daily Record, cops were dispatched to the campground after receiving a call claiming that a man had announced that he was going to kill himself after first slaying his wife and his dog.
It didn't take long for the cops to arrive at the scene — just 48 seconds, Canon City Police Chief Paul Schultz told the media at a press conference.
But they weren't quick enough to prevent tragedy. When they pulled up, they saw the body of a woman in front of a motor home.
The thus-far unidentified woman had been shot in the head. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
In response to movement inside the motor home, the first responders contacted the Fremont County Sheriff's Office, which rolled out a SWAT team complete with a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected armored tactical vehicle.
They were joined by all six of the crisis negotiators employed by the Canon City Police Department.
Nonetheless, the suspect, who also remains unidentified at this writing, wouldn't talk to any of the personnel at the campground.
Meanwhile, friends and family of the man reported that he "planned to 'end it all' and was distraught about health issues," the Daily Record reports.
Hence, the decision at 2:45 a.m. on Wednesday morning to fire a pepper-spray canister through the window of the motor home, in the hope of persuading the man to leave.
He did. “He had a gun in each hand — both .45 caliber handguns — and started firing on the officers," Schultz told the press. "One round hit a Canon City police car’s front grill, five to seven rounds hit the MRAP vehicle and four rounds hit a front window alongside the head of the deputy inside the vehicle."
At that point, several officers, including at least one from the CCPD and others with the sheriff's department, returned fire.
The man was killed in the exchange. Thus far, there's been no confirmation about how many times he was hit.
No officers were hurt, but the dog took bullet to the neck. At last report, it was critically injured but still alive.
Like all officer-involved shootings, this one will be investigated. But Schultz appears confident that the actions of the law enforcers who participated will be deemed justified.
In his words, "I know we have had a rash of these, but I think they are highly unusual and pretty black and white."
Here's a Colorado Springs Gazette video featuring footage from the scene and excerpts from the press conference.Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
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