Authorities in Hartford, Connecticut, said a 35-year-old man killed a woman he was romantically involved with and also took his own life. According to NBC Connecticut, the bodies of Irving Lollar and Crystal Cooper, 24, were found in their apartment on July 24 after officers went to the address to conduct a wellness check.
Police said officers who arrived at the home found Lollar and Cooper with gunshot wounds, adding that they were pronounced dead at the scene. Police said Cooper was the victim and the case is being investigated as a murder-suicide.
Police said Cooper’s killing adds up to 21 homicide cases that have occurred in Hartford this year. Hartford Police Lt. Aaron Boisvert said the deceased couple recently moved into the home.
“Just like last year, a lot of the homicides we’re seeing are personal disputes. They’re disagreements that at one time may have been a fight or altercation, that now is going right to gunfire violence. We saw it last year, we’re seeing it again this year, unfortunately,” Boisvert said.
The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) also said Cooper’s killing “sadly marks the ninth intimate partner homicide in Connecticut this year and the third just this month”, Hartford Courant reported.
“Domestic violence is a public health crisis impacting us all and we all have a role to play in creating a world where no person lives in fear,” president and CEO of the CCADV, Meghan Scanlon, said.
“We encourage anyone questioning their own relationship or anyone with questions about what their friend or family member may be experiencing to reach out to an advocate,” Scanlon added. “What may start as subtle abuse can quickly escalate into dangerous violence. Advocates are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling or texting 888-774-2900 or by visiting CTSafeConnect.org.”
A GoFundMe has since been set up to help raise funds for Cooper’s funeral and other expenses. “No words will ever be able to describe the pain a mother/family feels after finding their loved one lifeless,” the fundraiser states. “Her life was taken too soon in her own home; a place where she should’ve been safe and comfortable.”