Man dies after family says he took baby's picture for Facebook, then killed her and shot himself

WESTMINSTER, Colo. - A man who family members say took a picture of his 19-month-old daughter, posted it on Facebook, then killed the baby and shot himself has died, the Adams County Coroner's Office said Monday.

The coroner's office issued a statement saying 22-year-old Merrick McKoy had died. McKoy had been transported to the hospital on the morning of Nov. 18 after the deadly shooting at the Westminster apartment of his ex-girlfriend, who is the mother of the slain infant.

The coroner said an autopsy will be conducted to determine McKoy's cause and manner of death. Citing the ongoing investigation, a coroner's official would not release the specific date McKoy died.

The mother of the baby called Westminster police about 9:35 a.m. on Nov. 18 and said she woke up to find her ex-boyfriend, McKoy, standing over her with a handgun.

The mother, Kim Phanthavongsa, 21, told police there was an altercation and she ran out of her apartment at 7030 Stuart St. She called police from a neighbor’s apartment, saying her McKoy had a gun and he was inside her apartment with their child.

Westminster police said when officers arrived at the apartment, they heard gunshots. Officers went inside and found McKoy and the baby suffering from gunshot wounds.

Family members told 7NEWS that Kim Phanthavongsa said McKoy shot the baby, Mia, then himself.

The child, Mia McKoy-Phanthavongsa, died later that day at St. Anthony North Hospital. McKoy was hospitalized at St. Anthony Central Hospital.

Distraught family members grieved the baby girl's death.

"She just learned how to walk," a tearful Vannatda Sivixai said on the day of the shooting. "What an angel. Whenever she smiled it was bright."

The girl's grandmother broke down after learning about the shooting, and again when she learned that Mia did not survive.

Family members say the grandmother was planning to take Kim and Mia to her native country of Laos after Christmas to visit other relatives.

They say Kim was ready to move on with her life, but McCoy couldn't let go.

Police said McKoy had an active restraining order prohibiting him from contacting his ex-girlfriend or going to her apartment.

McKoy's Facebook page showed a photo of the man and the girl posted just before the shooting. Two other posts, after the photo said, "Ima miss stall lol [sic]" and "Don't judge me had no choice [sic]."

A neighbor who lives in the same complex said McKoy was apparently angry that Kim Phanthavongsa had broken up with him.

She said Kim told her that McKoy threatened her.

"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 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.


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