Updated: 2:51 p.m. Wednesday
The 39-year-old Boulder Hill man who police said fatally shot his girlfriend before killing himself Tuesday night had been accused of hitting and threatening her before, court records show.
Daniel Kiefer, of the first block of Fieldpoint Road, shot his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Brandi Jo Murphy, 38, before taking his own life about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday at her home in the 300 block of Fox Chase Drive North in Oswego, police said.
The apparent murder-suicide happened a little more than a year after Murphy received an order of protection against Kiefer after she said she had received threatening messages from him.
Kiefer previously had threatened to come to her workplace with a baseball bat and to kick her father in the knee, Murphy alleged in her request for the restraining order. But on Aug. 11, 2010, she wrote, he left her voicemail messages with sounds of a gun cocking and a text message referencing shotgun ammunition: “Brenneke KO Slug 2 34 inch.”
A few weeks later, Murphy asked the judge to lift the restraining order.
Kiefer then was arrested Nov. 13 for allegedly smacking Murphy in the face several times, grabbing her by the hair and slamming her head to the ground at his home in Boulder Hill, court records show. The misdemeanor domestic battery case was set for trial July 12, but the case was dropped that day when Murphy did not show up in court for the second time.
Tuesday night, Murphy’s neighbor, a woman named Lisa, heard four gunshots and then saw a woman running around the neighborhood, screaming.
“She was yelling, ‘He’s got a gun, call the police,’” said Lisa, who asked her last name be withheld. “She was keeled over in the yard, screaming.”
Lisa’s daughter called the police. So did another neighbor, Heidi Nelson.
When police arrived on the scene, they found Kiefer unresponsive in the attached garage, and Murphy also unresponsive in an adjoining doorway leading to the home.
Both were pronounced dead at the scene. Police said Kiefer shot Murphy before taking his own life.
Police said three adults and three children were also in the house at the time but no one else was injured. The three children were taken to Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora to be evaluated.
Police said a shotgun was recovered at the scene.
Lisa said Murphy told her about the restraining order and asked her to call police if she ever saw Kiefer’s white truck near the home.
Lisa did just that last summer but Murphy told her the two had made up.
Lisa said her younger daughter and Murphy’s kids were once better friends, but after Kiefer started coming around more regularly, she wasn't as comfortable with her children going over there.
Neighbors told stories of screaming and fighting at Murphy's home and said they feared the relationship would have a violent end.
“[My daughter] understands now why I told her not to go over there,” Lisa said. "I'm just extremely sorry about the whole situation."
Nelson, a neighbor, said she hopes this incident serves as a “wake-up call” for other women in similar relationships.
“She had a lot going for her,” Nelson said. “I hope women learn from this. I’m just glad the kids weren’t hurt.”
Murphy's obituary is available here.