Couple slain in ‘homicide, suicide’ Tuesday at hospital room

An elderly, prominent, Milanoarea couple died late Tuesday night after both were shot in the head at Richards Memorial Hospital in what police are terming a “homicide-suicide.”

J. C. “Jake” Barfield, 77, died in the room. His wife, Margaret (Dot) Barfield, died at Cameron’s Central Texas hospital, where an AMR ambulance had stopped while attempting to transfer her to Scott & White Hospital in Temple.

“It’s just a tragedy,” Police Chief Thomas Harris told The Reporter. “I’ve known the Barfields for probably 30 years and they were as nice a couple as anyone you could ever meet.”

SHOTS—Harris said hospital officials called police at 11:26 p.m. to report the shooting.

“It happened in a room where Mrs. Barfield was a patient, only about 10 feet from the nurses station,” Harris said. “Several nurses were nearly. They heard two shots and ran to the room.”

Harris said nurses found Jake Barfield dead on the floor and Dot Barfield critically wounded.

A .357-magnum revolver was found next to Jake Barfield’s body.

Harris said RMH doctors and staff members attempted to stabilize Mrs. Barfield for transfer to Scott & White and the ambulance trip to Temple had actually begun.

But Mrs. Barfield’s condition deteriorated and the ambulance crew stopped at the Cameron hospital.

“That’s where she died,” Harris said.

POOR HEALTH—Harris said Mrs. Barfield had been in poor health.

“It was apparently some form of dementia and family members said Mr. Barfield had become increasingly distraught as his wife’s condition worsened,” Harris said.

Mrs. Barfield was in the hospital undergoing treatment for a blood clot, according to Harris.

“A number of hospital staffers saw Mr. Barfield come in but, of course, nobody thought anything about it,” Harris said.

Sgt. Stephen Goodrich and Officers Jonathan Luedeman and Brandon Tess responded to the scene and investigated

Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Sam Berry held an inquest.

“Everything is pretty much a formality,” Harris said. “There’s no doubt what happened. Mr. and Mrs. Barfield were alone in the room. It’s going to be ruled a homicide-suicide.”

PROMINENT—The Barfields, lived on County Road 330, south of Milano and had been involved in the Milano community for many decades.

Jake Barfield, a retired Alcoan and rancher, was a former member of the Milano ISD school board.

The Barfields and their grandchildren were frequent participants in Milano parades with their “Little Red Wagon” entry, frequently winning prizes.

Funeral services for the couple are pending at Phillips & Luckey Funeral Home in Rockdale.

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