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Law Enforcement:

Police: Mesquite councilwoman fatally shot husband before killing self

Updated Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011 | 1:48 a.m.

Audio Clip

  • Donna Fairchild's 911 call

Mesquite murder-suicide

KSNV coverage of murder-suicide involving Mesquite City Councilwoman Donna Fairchild, Jan. 26, 2011.

Mesquite city councilwoman Donna Fairchild shot her husband about an hour before calling 911 to report that she was going to kill herself, city officials said Wednesday.

"The crime scene and autopsy where consistent that Bill was deceased approximately an hour before Donna," Police Chief Douglas L. Law said in a statement.

Officials said the situation unraveled in the early morning hours Tuesday when Donna Fairchild dropped a box off at a friend's house. By 4:20 a.m., she sent an e-mail to a friend indicating that a box was left at the house for Donna's mother.

Dispatchers received a 911 call at 4:33 a.m. from Donna Fairchild, who gave them her address, noted that the door would be unlocked, and said she would be "post-suicide," officials said.

Click to enlarge photo

Donna Fairchild

When officers arrived at the house two minutes later, they found Donna and Bill Fairchild in the back bedroom with single gunshot wounds, police said.

Prior to the murder-suicide, city officials said Donna Fairchild had called City Attorney Cheryl Truman Hunt on Monday evening to discuss meeting with the mayor and City Council to tender her resignation.

By 10 p.m. Monday, Hunt and Donna Fairchild had agreed to meet the next afternoon with the mayor and City Council to discuss her expected resignation, officials said.

Donna Fairchild, who had been re-elected to the City Council in 2009, had faced the possibility of sanctions at Tuesday night's council meeting stemming from an alleged travel voucher she submitted for a trip she didn't take.

Donna and Bill Fairchild had been married for 21 years. They moved to Mesquite in 1999 after they retired from the Denver Police Department.

A final toxicology report from the Clark County Coroner's Office could take four to six weeks to be complete.

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