Sunday, August 18, 2013

When a Domestic Abuser Kills, No One Should Be Surprised

On Friday morning, police were called to a south Denver neighborhood because neighbors heard shots fired. When they arrived on the scene, they found a man armed with at least one gun and several homemade bombs. He told the police to "bring it on," and then shot one of the bombs, detonating it. The police quickly shot the man in the shoulder, subduing him. He is now in critical condition in a local hospital, facing murder and bomb charges.

He is facing murder charges because, prior to the police arriving, he shot and killed a neighbor and shot and wounded his wife.

It turns out he had a long history of domestic violence, including hitting his wife with the butt of his gun and threatening to kill her multiple times. He also hit their dog, and he had previously been arrested for multiple felonies and misdemeanors.

Court documents revealed a pattern of anger problems, impulsivity, and physical violence in the man. When a gun is added to the mix, it seems almost inevitable that the situation will eventually turn deadly (NOTE: this is not meant to spark a gun control debate--there are millions of responsible gun owners in the U.S. This man is not one of them).

According to the US Department of Justice, approximately 1 in 250 women will experience intimate partner violence sometime in their lifetime. That statistic is shocking. Domestic violence is very common, and when a woman is murdered, she knows her murderer about 70% of the time.

This is a sad story, but it is not surprising. This Denver man, left unchecked, was bound to escalate his violence at some point. Unfortunately, that happened on Friday morning.

Here is a link to video where Cheryl Preheim interviews me about the situation on 9 News:

Click here to watch the video if you are attempting to view it on a non-Flash enabled device.

Thanks for reading-- Max Wachtel, Ph.D.


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