Murder-suicide investigation in Lemoore
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Lemoore Police are investigating the city's second homicide of the year. They say an 88-year-old man killed his 85-year-old wife, before turning the gun on himself.
Neighbors have identified the couple as Martin and Maria McKinnie. The shooting took place inside their home. It happened just before ten o'clock Monday morning, on Cambridge Drive near Olive in Lemoore.
Friends of the couple say they both had severe health problems. Based on conversations they had with Martin just days before the shooting, they tell us he likely killed Maria because he didn't want her to be alone.
The Lemoore home Martin and Maria McKinnie shared for the past forty years, is the same place where both their lives ended Monday morning. That's when police received a call from a family member, asking them to check on the couple's welfare.
Commander Steve Rossi said, "The reporting party called to have the officers check on them because she was on the phone with the female at the residence and the female told her over the phone her husband had a gun and was going to kill her."
By the time officers arrived, it was too late. Inside, they found Maria and Martin's bodies in separate rooms of the house. Investigators tell Action News Martin used a shotgun to kill Maria, before turning the gun on himself.
Scott Goodrich said, "To be real honest with you, for anyone that knew em, it really wasn't unexpected or shocking."
Goodrich lives next door, and has known the couple for 21 years. He says 85-year-old Maria suffered from Alzheimer's. And that 88-year-old Martin had Parkinson's disease, which prevented him doing the things he loved.
Goodrich said, "He was very much an outdoors person, and he had lost his ability to garden or walk the neighborhood or drive and they suggested that he move into a retirement home, and he just couldn't see being split up from her."
Just two days before the shooting, Goodrich says Martin had expressed concerns about leaving Maria. Concerns, he feels came from a loving place... not a malicious one. "I feel that the quality of his life was essentially over and he knew that no one could take care of her, so they went together."
Neighbors say the couple has a daughter. She lives outside the area, and will travel back to the Valley soon to make funeral arrangements.
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