In a tragic sequence of events, a Californian gentleman took the life of his 8-year-old daughter and then turned the fatal weapon upon himself in a murder-suicide, mere hours after the girl’s mother had successfully obtained a restraining order against him. This heartbreaking incident was reported in a recent press release.
On the 12th of July, law enforcement responded to a distressing call at a residence on Havenhurst Court in Modesto, reporting a person in a state of despair and contemplating self-harm. Through a window, officers glimpsed an individual armed with a gun, later identified as the 50-year-old Donovan Halstead, who engaged in a brief exchange with them, stating his intention to surrender without arms. Tragically, before that moment could unfold, gunshots emanated from within the dwelling, leading the officers to rush inside, only to find Halstead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
In a heart-wrenching discovery, officers also found Halstead’s young daughter, aged 8, lifeless from a gunshot wound. The police refrained from releasing her name but classified the entire incident as a murder-suicide.
The young girl was known to be a student in the esteemed Sylvan Union School District, as per reports from KCRA 3. Halstead was taken to a local medical facility, where he succumbed to his injuries two days later.
According to court records detailed in The Modesto Bee, the girl’s mother had obtained a restraining order against Halstead on the 10th of July, which was judicially approved on the 12th, just a few hours before this tragic act of violence unfolded. As reported in the same source, the woman had already filed for divorce in April.
The mother asserted that Halstead had been verbally and physically abusive throughout their relationship, as documented in two petitions acquired by The Modesto Bee. Allegedly, Halstead had frequently subjected her to name-calling and threats, and during an argument earlier in the year, he had even pinned her down and choked her.
This was not the first time the mother sought a restraining order, as The Modesto Bee cited a previous instance in 2016 where she expressed her fear that Halstead might harm both them and himself due to his unpredictable behavior and previous suicide attempts.
A spokesperson from the Modesto Police Department disclosed that the restraining orders were a crucial aspect of the ongoing investigation.
The origin and legality of the firearm used in this tragic incident remain uncertain.