THORNTON, Colo. — Thornton police say a man shot his wife and then killed himself Sunday morning at a Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall in Thornton.
Around 9 a.m. Sunday, the Thornton Police Department received a call about a structure fire at the Federal Heights Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall, which is located at 951 Milky Way near the intersection of Interstate 25 and W. 88th Avenue.
"It was then reported that an adult female was shot and killed by an adult male, who then shot and killed himself," police said in a press release.
The two were married and former members of the Kingdom Hall congregation, police said.
Both died at the scene, police said. They have not been identified.
What were described as three incendiary devices where found at the scene and were retrieved and "rendered safe," according to a news release.
ABC News confirmed that the Thornton Fire Department also responded to the reported structure fire and when they arrived at the scene, they did not find a fire, but rather a "domestic issue," the public information officer said.
There was a large police presence at the scene, according to Denver7's reporter at the Kingdom Hall.
Heavy police presence at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. @ThorntonPolice says it is a homicide investigation and there is no active threat. Working to learn more details @DenverChannel pic.twitter.com/KNAE1N930c— Kristian Lopez (@KlopezNews) December 25, 2022
In a statement, the Sherrelwood Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses responded to the shootings:
“We are shocked and deeply saddened by the unprovoked attack and loss of life at our Kingdom Hall in Thornton. We are cooperating with the authorities as they carry out their investigation into the event. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of those who have been traumatized by the heinous actions that took the life of an innocent victim and threatened the lives of many others. We are praying for the families of all those affected.”
Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann issued a separate statement Sunday afternoon:
“The Thornton City Council and myself are saddened by the violent actions that took two lives in our city. This kind of violence is always shocking but particularly on Christmas Day. We understand the Thornton Police Department is in the early stages of the investigation and we will learn more in the days to come. For now, our hope is that we all can take time to focus on those we love and find a way to hold them close today.”
The Jehovah's Witnesses at this Thornton location have weekly meetings at 9:30 a.m. on Sundays, according to their phone line.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, you can dial 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline 24/7, visit Colorado Crisis Services, or click here for a list of resources in Colorado.