SAN PABLO, Calif. -- A 41-year-old woman remained in critical condition Wednesday after her husband of one month shot her in the head before turning his weapon on himself the previous evening in the family's San Pablo home.
A vodka-fueled disagreement preceded the gunfire, police say, climaxing in a pronouncement from the victim, Marlo Schumacker.
"At one point, she said, 'I'm going to leave,'" San Pablo Police Lt. Mark Foisie said. "That appears to be what triggered him."
Walter Schumacker drew a .380 semi-automatic handgun and shot his wife once through the head while in the living room of their 21st Street home before pressing the barrel under his own chin and pulling the trigger, as family members watched in horror.
The suspect's adult son phoned 911 at 8:08 p.m. Tuesday to report the shooting. Walter Schumaker, 63, died at the scene. Paramedics flew Marlo Schumaker to a regional trauma center, where police say she remains in critical condition but with a relatively good prognosis.
The couple, married in May, began drinking and arguing about 4 p.m., police say. At one point, they apparently went to a nearby discount store and bought an inflatable swimming pool, which they filled and put in the driveway, Foisie said.
But witnesses said they continued to argue afterward, and the situation deteriorated steadily over the course of hours.
Patrol officers had previously visited the house, in the 2900 block, for disturbances, Foisie said, and police are familiar with the family.
Reach Karl Fischer at 510-262-2728 or firstname.lastname@example.org