WAILUKU - A former Maui police officer shot himself once in the head after shooting his wife twice in what police are investigating as a murder-suicide Monday night at a Makawao home, police said Wednesday.
Police identified the couple as Barry W. Alford, 59, and his wife, Karolyn Alford, 58.
Officers discovered their bodies after responding to a 911 call at 10:15 p.m. Monday. The call reported domestic abuse with possible shots fired at the residence at 310 Iini Way, near the end of a cul-de-sac.
Police said autopsy results showed Barry Alford died from a self-inflicted single gunshot wound to his head. Karolyn Alford was killed by two gunshot wounds, to her head and her chest, police said.
"It's a sad day for the Maui Police Department, being that Barry Alford was a former employee of our department," Maui County Police Chief Gary Yabuta said Wednesday. "We just want to continue to support the family through this terrible tragedy."
Alford had worked as a police officer for more than 17 years during three employment stints with the Maui Police Department. According to police, he first joined the department on April 16, 1985, before resigning on July 14, 1987. He was rehired on June 16, 1990, and was promoted to sergeant and then lieutenant before resigning on Nov. 3, 2000. He was again rehired as a sergeant on Feb. 18, 2003, and worked at the receiving desk of the Wailuku Police Station before resigning on April 30, 2008.
"He was a dependable employee," Yabuta said.
At one point between his employment periods at MPD, Alford had moved to Las Vegas, co-workers said.
"He always seemed pleasant at work," said Capt. Charles Hirata. "I think it's sad."
Capt. Larry Hudson, who got to know Alford both on and off the job, said he was surprised to hear about what happened.
"He was very professional, and he was personable at the same time," Hudson said. "It's very sad for all the families involved."
Noting that the deaths occurred during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Lucy Feinberg, Maui regional director of Parents And Children Together, said the tragedy underscores the message to "stop the silence on domestic violence."
She said neighbors can help by looking out for each other and calling 911 if something seems wrong.
"You never know - you might be in a position to save someone's life," Feinberg said. "If you hear something that seems very odd, it's better to call and let the police investigate. If it's nothing, then it's a few minutes of people's lives."
She said some people mistakenly believe only certain people are affected by domestic violence.
"It happens any time and anywhere," Feinberg said. "We know that it's across all incomes, all ethnic groups."
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.