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La Encantada shootings show reach of domestic violence

Posted at 7:04 PM, Apr 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-17 22:05:58-04

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A Tucson Fire Captain wounded his ex-wife, killed her male companion, then killed himself.  It happened Friday night at La Encantada Mall.

The incident shows how domestic violence can happen to anyone, anywhere.

For patrons at Firebirds, in La Encantada, the shooting turned a relaxing dinner into a run for their lives.

At Emerge, the Center Against Domestic Abuse, CEO Ed Mercurio-Sakwa says the attack shows a public place will not stop someone determined to be violent and that violence can strike anyone.

 "Anybody regardless of what title they hold, what stature they hold in the community, what income level they have, none of that protects them from being a victim of domestic violence or being someone who's using abusive behaviors."

Tucson Fire Captain Fred Bair shot and wounded his ex-wife Mary Jo, killed her male companion, and killed himself.

Fred and Mary Jo Bair divorced seven months ago but court documents make it appear amicable.  They handled the divorce without lawyers.

Mercurio-Sakwa says if there is abuse, controlling behavior, treating a partner like an object, not a person, even close friends may not see it.

"Often the victim is silent about it.  They're embarrassed, they're ashamed.  They don't want someone to know this is happening to them and absolutely the partner that's using abusive behaviors doesn't want anyone to know and goes to great lengths to make sure their image in the community, among, friends, family and co-workers is very different."

But before deadly violence breaks out, people may pick up signs of abuse in controlling, disrespectful behavior, try to reach the abuser in a talk that won't turn them defensive, and urge the abuse victim to reach out for help.

The web page for Emerge offers advice for those who may need help.

Emerge urges anyone in immediate danger to call 911.