WESTMINSTER, Colo. - Grieving family members tell 7NEWS a man took a picture of his baby on Monday, posted it on Facebook, then shot and killed the girl and then shot himself.
The mother of the baby called Westminster police about 9:35 a.m. and said when she woke up, her ex-boyfriend was standing over her with a handgun.
The mother, Kimphone "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 ex-boyfriend, Merrick McKoy, 22, had a gun and he was inside her apartment with their child.
Westminster Police Investigator Wayne Read said when officers arrived, they heard gunshots. He said they found a child and an adult male with gunshot wounds.
Both victims were taken to the hospital. Police confirm that 19-month-old Mia McKoy-Phanthavongsa died.
"She just learned how to walk," said a tearful Vannatda Sivixai. "What an angel. Whenever she smiled it was bright."
The condition of the suspect, McKoy, is unknown, police said.
Police said McKoy had an active restraining order prohibiting him from being at that apartment.
McKoy's Facebook page shows 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 broke 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 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.
Police spoke to McCoy's brother, who drove to the scene Monday afternoon. The brother declined to comment about the situation.
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.