Neighbor says children played 20 feet away from dying father

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MONROE COUNTY, Ind (Sept. 28, 2015) - When Nancy Rollins heard from a neighbor about gunshots across the street, she walked over to find 26-year-old Justin Kirby bleeding with no pulse, his 23-year-old wife Taylor sitting on the ground next to him and the couple's two young children playing a few feet away.

“The little boy was playing with some cars and the little girl was just toddling around,” Rollins said. “It has really bothered me. It has really bothered me.”

Rollins says Taylor was frantically talking on the phone to a 911 dispatcher.

“She said, ‘I shot him, I shot him! I had to shoot him. He was coming after me, I had to shoot him,’” Rollins said.

Monroe County authorities responded to that call and another 911 call from a neighbor in the 500 block of West San Juan Drive just after 4 p.m. Saturday. Justin Kirby was located on the front step of the home he shared with his wife Taylor and their children, a 3-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl. Justin had sustained four gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Justin Kirby, 26, died with four gunshot wounds, according to a Monday autopsy.

Justin Kirby, 26, died with four gunshot wounds, according to a Monday autopsy.

An autopsy revealed Justin had been shot twice in the side, once in the shoulder and once in the buttock. Investigators believe he was trying to run away from his wife as she fired at him with a handgun inside the house. He made it a few feet out the front door before collapsing, according to Monroe County Sheriffs Department Captain Ryan Davis.

“The exact circumstances that led up to the shooting is still currently under investigation,” Davis said.

Neighbors say the Kirbys had a volatile relationship. Davis said officers were called to the house a couple weeks earlier to defuse a heated argument between the husband and wife.

Taylor told investigators she shot her husband in self defense. Court documents state she told police she and Justin had gotten to an argument on Saturday. She said she was afraid of him, so she locked herself in a bedroom where she located a .380 caliber handgun. She chambered a round and put the gun in her pants pocket. While she was in the bedroom, she says Justin told her if she did not come out of the bedroom, she would “pay.” When Taylor walked out of the bedroom, she said Justin came at her with a clenched fist. When Justin was approximately six strides away, Taylor says she pulled the trigger and shot him an unknown number of times.

But detectives on the case say Taylor’s story does not add up with the evidence they have found.

“The physical evidence at the scene and the trajectories that the autopsy revealed is contradicting to the information that she disclosed in her interview with detectives,” Davis said. Davis would not go into details about the conflicting evidence. Sheriffs Department detectives were awaiting a search warrant for the home Monday afternoon.

Taylor told police she purchased the gun “some time ago,” but the exact date is not clear.

It’s also not known if the two children actually witnessed the shooting. Davis said the children were being looked after by a family member. Detectives were hoping to speak to the children in order to obtain any information they could about what they saw and heard.

Arrest records show Justin was arrested on an intimidation charge in June of this year. Davis said that case did not involve his wife and the charges were dismissed.

Taylor was being held without bond in the Monroe County jail on a preliminary charge of murder. Her initial hearing was scheduled for 1:30 Tuesday afternoon.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.