Husband allegedly shoots wife after she was on phone with 911 for 13 minutes

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(CNN) — A Denver woman called 911 when her husband began to hallucinate and speak of “the end of the world.”

For 13 minutes, the wife spoke of fear — for herself, their three scared children, her husband. She said in the emergency call that there was a gun in the house according to sister station KDVR

Richard Kirk wanted his wife to shoot him, she told 911. She screamed when he went to the family safe and grabbed a gun.

The 911 operator heard what sounded like a gunshot. The wife went silent on the 911 call.

Responding police found her dead Monday in the family home with an apparent gunshot wound to the head, authorities said. She was identified as Kristine Kirk by CNN affiliate KWGN.

Richard Kirk admitted that he killed his wife — “without questioning,” a police document says — when an officer put him in the backseat of a patrol car, the probable cause document says.

Those harrowing events, provided by authorities, are now being investigated by Denver police, who are looking at how 911 handled the 13-minute emergency call and whether Kirk was using marijuana or another drug, authorities said Wednesday.

“This is under investigation,” Denver police spokeswoman Raquel Lopez said about the possibility of marijuana use.

Colorado became the first state in the nation to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana, allowing pot stores to open for business on January 1.

At a court hearing Wednesday, Kirk, 47, was ordered held without bail on an accusation of first-degree murder, Denver court records showed.

In response to questions about the incident, Denver police posted on its Twitter page: “We will report the truth, even if mistakes were made.”

In response to apparent questions about the handling of the 911 call, the police posted another tweet: “No indication the call taker erred. Very tough call to handle, please give benefit of doubt.”

The city of Denver auditor’s office this year began studying police response times, which have grown longer in recent years, the Denver Post reported. The report is expected in June, and police have cited fewer officers and limited budgets for hiring more officers since 2008 as causes for longer response times, the newspaper reported.

By Michael Martinez and Carma Hassan

For full coverage on this story, please visit our sister station KDVR

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