Couple found dead in Saskatchewan home died in murder-suicide: RCMP

KINDERSLEY, Sask. — RCMP say a couple who had been going through a divorce are dead after a murder-suicide in a town in west-central Saskatchewan.

Police say officers in Kindersley received word that shots had been fired inside a home shortly after 10 a.m. on Thursday.

The bodies of David Michael Gartner, who was 66, and his 64-year-old wife, Elsie Gartner, were discovered about five hours later when police used a robot to enter the residence, RCMP spokesman Cpl. Rob King said Friday at a news conference in Regina.

King said a long-barrelled gun was seized and investigators believe Gartner shot his wife before killing himself.

"The couple had never come to the awareness of the RCMP for any type of domestic violence situation," he said.

One of the couple's adult daughters, who had arrived at the home with her mother, fled when shots were fired and contacted police.

Officers surrounded the area and issued an emergency alert that included an advisory that students and staff remain inside all schools in the town.

"The entire time our officers were on scene, there was no movement and no sounds from the house," said King.

The decision to release the couple's name was made in part because they were well-known in the community, he added.

"A tragedy of this scale ... there's no play book on how to deal with it."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 13, 2019.

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