A U.S. Navy chief in Florida locked her husband in their garage and fatally shot him while he was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher, law enforcement authorities said Thursday. The couple’s three children were in the home when the shooting occurred.
During a Thursday afternoon press conference, Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson announced that deputies arrested 34-year-old Gulf Breeze resident Bree Kristen Kuhn, a Naval chief petty officer, on Wednesday and charged her with first-degree murder in the death of her 34-year-old husband Collin James Turner.
According to Johnson, Turner was able to describe what was happening in real time to the 911 dispatcher in the moments leading up to, and immediately after, he was shot.
“While on the phone, he says that he’s locked in the garage. His wife locked him in the garage,” Johnson said. “During the phone call with dispatch, you hear a gunshot. He states, basically, ‘She just shot me.’ Then, you hear three more [shots].”
Deputies from the sheriff’s office had already responded to two calls at the couple’s home, located in the 6100 block of Jenks Drive, prior to the shooting, Johnson said.
The first 911 call came from Kuhn at 12:53 p.m. following an argument between Turner and her. According to Johnson, Turner wanting to “take the kids out of state” and Kuhn “didn’t want to go.” Deputies responded to the home but left after finding no evidence of a physical altercation.
At approximately 5 p.m., Turner called the station about Kuhn. Johnson said it was the “same thing—another argument.” Deputies again responded and again left after finding no evidence of a physical altercation.
Turner called a second time at 6:22 p.m. and told the operator that Kuhn had locked him in the garage and “tried to break his arm” when he attempted to get back inside their home. The gunshot was heard soon thereafter and Turner told the operator that he had just been shot.
Deputies arrived for the third time approximately four minutes after Turner’s call and found Turner’s body in the garage.
Kuhn, who Johnson described as being in “shock,” was then taken into custody.
“[T]o put it the best way, I’d say [she was in] shock, probably,” Johnson responded when asked about Kuhn’s state after the shooting. “You’re a Navy chief one day, and the next day, you’re in jail.”
Asked why his office didn’t do more to prevent the fatal shooting during either of the first two times deputies responded to the home, Johnson said there simply wasn’t evidence to make an arrest.
“If there’s no evidence to support an arrest—any kind of violence or anything—we can’t make the arrest,” Johnson said. “And in both of these cases they were arguing over kids.”
In a statement to local ABC-affiliated news station WEAR-TV, a Navy spokesperson confirmed that Kuhn is currently on leave status pending an investigation.
Johnson noted that two of the couple’s three children were placed into the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families. The third child was placed in the custody of the biological father.
Kuhn is currently being detained at the Santa Rosa County Jail. If found guilty on the first-degree murder charge she is facing a mandatory life sentence or the death penalty.
[image via Santa Rosa County Jail]
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