Glenwood woman survives surgery following shooting
October 21, 2016
The community is reeling over the recent death of Joseph Llewellyn and the shooting of his wife Mary Kent on Tuesday. And in the meantime, those close to the couple are left with many unanswered questions about this tragedy's circumstances.
Glenwood Springs police on Wednesday said the incident is being investigated as an attempted homicide-suicide or a suicide pact. Authorities do not suspect they were the victims of a third party and therefore do not believe a dangerous suspect is at large in the community.
People close to the couple were in disbelief Thursday at law enforcement's suspicions.
Those friends on Thursday said that Kent had successfully undergone surgery Wednesday to remove bone fragments from a head wound.
They set up a CaringBridge profile that updated Kent's condition. The profile can be viewed at http://bit.ly/2ed2wEe.
"Brain injuries, as many of you know, take time to heal and to reveal the extent of permanent versus temporary injury," read the update, which was posted around 1 p.m. Thursday. "The good news is that Mary is moving all extremities. Mary's brain is swollen from both injury and surgery and so it must rest with little stimulation. The doctors will keep her sedated and manage that medicine carefully to ease her back into consciousness. As that process moves forward, they will test to see how well she can manage having the breathing tube removed and breathe on her own."
They urged friends of the couple not to visit without notice as recovery from this kind of injury is a "slow and careful process."
"Quiet, calm environment is key. The family will give us the direction and advice as to what they need from us and when our presence would be helpful."
An autopsy found that Llewellyn's cause of death was a gunshot to the head, though the manner of death has not been determined.
Kent was transported to Valley View Hospital with a gunshot wound and then to Denver Health Medical Center via medical helicopter on Wednesday.
Chief Terry Wilson is releasing no further details about the case, citing an investigation that's still in its infancy.
It is not clear who the shooter was in this case. There is no further information about why investigators suspect a homicide-suicide.
Wilson said Thursday that he's still waiting to receive the 911 recording himself.
"When I do, it will be reviewed to see if we feel it can be released," he wrote in an email.
For most of the day Thursday rumors were circulating about Kent's condition, though no official source could confirm them.
"Federal law requires me to tell you that we don't have a patient by that name in our directory," said Kelli Christensen, spokeswoman at Denver Health Medical Center.
Paul Oldford, Kent's son, flew in from Plano, Texas, and is with her at Denver Health Medical Center along with a family friend. And other family was on their way Thursday.
"It's a tragedy," said John Haines, a close friend of the couple. "And just like the rest of the community, we're stunned. We don't have any answers."
The community can make suppositions, Haines said, but he questioned what good that would do at this point.
"I think everyone is just in shock," said Wayne Griffin, who knew the couple through the Glenwood Springs Friday Noon Rotary Club. That this incident is being investigated as a suspected homicide-suicide "sounds totally out of character for him or Mary, either one," said Griffin.
They are both great people and great members of the community, he said. "And there are a lot of unanswered questions. I don't know what happened, and that seems to be the reaction of most people."
Griffin recalled that Llewellyn always seemed to be happy and often gave him encouragement when Griffin was president of the Rotary club.
They were a very loving couple who were very connected to the community and very tight together, said Michael Bennett, who also knew them through Rotary. Bennett is the Post Independent's former publisher and advertising director.
"I'm still reeling from the news and stunned about it, so my feelings are pretty numb right now," said Bill Kight, executive director of the Glenwood Springs Historical Society.
Kight said he's long been friends with Kent, who volunteers at the Historical Society.
"It makes you start questioning yourself; should I have seen something or known something?" said Craig Smiley, who also knew them through Rotary.
"I came to Glenwood Springs more than 30 years ago to work at (Dalby, Wendland & Co.)," wrote Greg Keller on CaringBridge. "Mary took this naive young accountant under her wing. I didn't know anyone at the time and she was there with an occasional meal and support in my new adventure. Fight strong and recover soon, our hearts and prayers and with you."
"We will keep you all in our prayers and hearts," wrote Susie and Craig Amichaux. "May God hold you in His healing hands. We love you with powerful healing thoughts sent your way, warmly, constantly."
"Although we may never know for sure, it is best to honor Joe and Mary by not jumping to conclusions, as the local media, unfortunately, has done," the CaringBridge post read. "Let's just put our arms around Joe and Mary's families, keep the prayers coming and support one another in love and friendship."