A father from Westminster, Colo., posted a selfie of himself with his baby girl on Facebook before shooting her and himself in an attempted murder-suicide, ABC’s Channel 7 News in Denver reports.
Westminster police say that the mother of the baby called them around 9:35 a.m. Monday to say that she woke up to her ex-boyfriend Merrick McKoy, 22, (pictured with daughter before shooting) standing over her with a gun. The mother, Kimphone “Kim” Phanthavongsa, 21, told the cops of an altercation at her apartment and that her ex-boyfriend was inside with their baby before leaving for help.
When police arrived on the scene, they heard gunshots and eventually founded a baby and an adult male with gunshot wounds. Both were taken to a local hospital, but 19-month-old Mia McKoy-Phanthavongsa died, apparently from a gunshot wound to the head. McKoy’s status is unknown.
Police say that McKoy has an active restraining order prohibiting him from being at the apartment. The motive behind the shooting has not been officially established, but a neighbor says that McKoy was upset that Kim broke up with him.
“He would just say that he wanted to be with her and if he can’t be with her, nobody can be with her,” the neighbor said. “I’m shocked. It’s hard to believe that someone you know would do something like that.”
The photo of McCoy and his baby taken before the shooting has since been taken down from his Facebook page, along with the following status updates, which were captured by the New York Daily News:
Here are a few more details on McCoy’s criminal history, per ABC’s Channel 7 News in Denver:
McKoy was arrested by Westminster police on Sept. 27 in a domestic violence incident Kim Phanthavongsa. He was charged with assault, burglary, trespassing and telephone harassment, according to court records. An Adams County judge issued a mandatory protection order on Sept. 30, the same day McKoy was released from jail after posting $20,000 bond.
On June 25, McKoy filed a lawsuit petitioning Kim Phanthavongsa for allocation of parental responsibilities for their child. In such petitions, people seek to exercise their parental rights, which can include things such as decision-making responsibilities for the child, parenting time and establishment of a child support order.
The little girl had just learned how to navigate the world in which she spent little time, according to friends and family.
“She just learned how to walk,” Vannatda Sivixai told ABC Channel 7 Denver. “What an angel. Whenever she smiled it was bright.”
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