The Colorado man who posted a selfie with his daughter to Facebook (pictured) before shooting her in the head and then turning the gun on himself last week has died, ABC7 Denver reports.
The Adams County Coroner’s Office released a statement Monday saying that 22-year-old Merrick McKoy died and will conduct an autopsy to determine McKoy’s cause of death. A coroner’s official would not release the specific date McKoy died.
Westminster police spokeswoman Cheri Spottke told the Associated Press that the investigation is closed because McKoy is dead.
As NewsOne previously reported, McKoy’s ex-girlfriend, Kim Phanthavongsa, called the Westminster police Nov. 18 to report that she woke up in her apartment to her former boyfriend standing over her with a handgun. An altercation ensued before she fled the scene for help. Calling from a neighbor’s apartment, Phanthavongsa, 21, told the cops that McKoy was inside of her apartment with their child.
When police arrived on the scene, they heard gunshots. By time Westminster police entered the home, they found McKoy and his 19-month-old daughter, Mia McKoy-Phanthavongsa, on the ground suffering from gunshot wounds. Mia died later that day at St. Anthony North Hospital. McKoy was transported to St. Anthony Central Hospital in critical condition, where he would later die.
Police believe McKoy had posted a selfie with his daughter to his Facebook page and posted several messages afterward:
It is still not known exactly why McKoy committed the apparent murder-suicide, but a neighbor told the TV station that the deceased man was upset that Phanthavongsa 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.”
McKoy had an active restraining order against him during the time of the shooting, so he had no legal right to be at Phanthavongs’s apartment. ABC7 Denver also reports that McKoy had been in trouble with the law before:
McKoy was arrested by Westminster police on Sept. 27 in a domestic violence incident involving 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.
A day after the shooting, Phanthavongsa told Fox 31 Denver that she wishes McKoy had shot her, not their child.
“If he threatened to kill me, why not do it, why you have to threaten my daughter, she don’t know nothing … she don’t know anything that’s going on,” she said.
Watch Kim Phanthavongsa discuss the shooting:
Phanthavongsa’s grandmother was planning to take Kim and Mia to her native country of Laos after Christmas to visit other relatives.