Sunday, January 27, 2008

Police: Divorce at root of killing at day care

Report indicates Dunn spent time drinking before attack

The man accused of shooting his estranged wife to death at a Cape Coral day care center Friday told police he snapped after being served financial disclosure papers earlier in the week.

Robert Dunn, 44, intended to hurt Christine Marie Lozier Dunn, 36, and kill himself, according to a report released Saturday by Cape Coral police.

Robert Dunn forced his way into a bathroom at Bobbie Noonan’s Child Care, where he shot his wife in front of toddlers, according to police.

He filed paperwork earlier this week at a local pawn shop to purchase the shotgun police believe he used to kill his wife, he said in a police interview. He picked up the weapon Thursday.

He was denied bond Saturday and remains in the Lee County Jail on a charge of first-degree murder.

The story of what happened at the day care center at 1217 Cape Coral Parkway comes from police reports released Saturday.

The Dunns, married since February 2004, were going through a difficult divorce.

Robert Dunn blamed attorneys and his pending divorce for the shooting.

He said he had left Christine Dunn five months before the shooting. Court records show she filed for divorce Oct. 1. Eleven days later, she filed a domestic violence injunction and child custody affidavit.

The injunction was dismissed, and the estranged couple have been in mediation about child support and divorce terms.

For a time, the center had been put on lockdown daily to prevent Robert Dunn from getting near the children. When police found Christine Dunn’s purse at the shooting scene, it contained papers and ledgers logging stalkings and problems with her husband.

Robert Dunn described hostile divorce proceedings to police, saying his wife had vowed to take everything from him and have him removed from home. He had been awarded supervised visitation with their 2-year-old daughter, Allison, but said his wife was fighting a request for unsupervised visits

While he called her vulgar names during his interview, the suspect told police Christine Dunn probably did not deserve what happened to her.

According to the police report, Friday afternoon, Dunn rode a bicycle from his home at 626 S.E. 10th Ave. to a bar on S.E. 47th Terrace.

“He had a gun in his pocket when he rode to the bar,” said police spokeswoman Dyan Lee.

While there, he told police, he drank shots and mixed drinks. He then rode a bus to the intersection of Skyline Boulevard and Cape Coral Parkway and walked the few blocks to Bobbie Noonan’s.

Dunn recalled climbing the fence at Bobbie Noonan’s and seeing his estranged wife inside the center as he walked the halls but had no recollection of shooting her, police said.

An 11-year-old living near the center saw the suspect behind the center loading his gun, but by the time the child was able to notify his parents, shots had been fired.

First reports

The first reports of an armed man near the center came in around 4:40 p.m. A parent told police Robert Dunn had been fumbling with the digital lock on the front door earlier trying to get into the center but appeared to not know the entry code. After an employee reported seeing a man fire a shotgun in the parking lot of the center, teachers put the school on lockdown.

An employee at the center said while she was locking doors in the building, Robert Dunn came in through a back door, pointed a shotgun at her and told her to be still. A parent said Dunn began walking the halls shouting “Where is that bitch?” The parent tried to direct the suspect out the front door but he headed to Christine Dunn’s classroom. The parent followed him.

Dunn found his wife hiding in a bathroom, with her class. He shot her twice before the parent was able to take away the gun and run out the front door, according to police.

Police arrived about seven minutes after the initial call and heard the shots. When police found Dunn, he told officers to shoot him, but was taken into custody without incident.

Police found Christine Dunn in a pool of blood and took her to a hallway to try to revive her as children were evacuated from the building. When paramedics arrived, Christine Dunn was pronounced dead, apparently from two shots to her chest.

Paramedics attended to at least three children covered in blood.

Reports show Robert Dunn was working in pool maintenance. Christine Dunn had been a teacher at Bobbie Noonan’s for eight years. Police said their daughter is a student at the center.

Family members for Christine Dunn declined to comment about the relationship or the death, and relatives of Robert Dunn could not be reached.

Jim Waitekus, a neighbor of Robert Dunn’s mother, Carole, said he had not heard the family had any problems.

“You mix divorces and people who have been drinking, they are just not in their right mind,” Waitekus said.

Neighbors said Dunn’s mother had not been seen at her home since the shooting.

At the home of Christine Dunn’s parents, a woman answered the door and said Allison was being taken care of.

Reached by phone, Christine’s father, Thomas Lozier, said no statement is being released by family.

Representatives from the Florida Department of Children and Families and trauma experts will visit Bobbie Noonan’s Child Care on Monday. The experts will offer counseling and crisis therapy.

Original Article -

The News-Press,, Cape Coral, Police: Divorce at root of killing at day care

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