Family of woman killed in suspected Midvale murder-suicide release statement

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Unified Police Swat team members leave the apartment complex where they found a man and woman dead, after a domestic violence call that led to a SWAT standoff in Midvale in the Candlestick Apartments near 100 E. 7800 S, Friday May 1, 2020

A woman was killed Friday in Midvale after an incident of suspected domestic violence, and police say early evidence indicates the person who shot her then killed himself.

Unified Police Department spokesman Detective Ken Hansen said police were called to the Candlestick Apartments, near State Street and 7800 South, around 10:30 a.m. on a report of domestic violence.

Police said Isaac Andre Renfro, 26, had sent photos and videos to someone suggesting a woman had been hurt. That person forwarded the images to police. Hansen wouldn’t elaborate on what the photos and videos showed, but said they proved “there had been a significant issue inside."

The woman was later identified as Miranda Schachinger, also 26.

Officers went to the apartment and asked building residents to shelter in place. Hansen said police had been talking to Renfro on the phone. Then gun shots rang out and communication stopped.

He said a SWAT team was called to the apartments and sent a robot inside. The robot never saw any movement, so police decided to go in.

They found Renfro and Schachinger dead, both apparently shot.

Police are still investigating what happened, but Hansen said it appears to be a murder-suicide.

Schachinger’s family released a statement Saturday, saying they wanted people to remember Schachinger for who she was — not how she died.

“She was a great mother, hard-worker, and loving to all who crossed paths with her,” the statement read.

At vigil Saturday evening, family and friends came together to support each other and mourn Schachinger.

Miranda Wilson said she would always remember Schachinger’s kindness, FOX13 reported.

“She was my very best friend. But if you asked a thousand other people, they would say she was their best friend too because that’s just who she was,” Wilson told FOX13.

As people locked down and businesses closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, experts worried the heightened stress could exacerbate domestic violence. The Utah Domestic Violence Coalition has reported an increase in calls for help to its partners across the state.

UPD said it’s seeing about 4% more 911 calls about domestic violence. Salt Lake City police also reported an increase, even as most other crime reports had decreased.

The woman’s death is the first suspected domestic violence-related homicide since Utah’s Stay Safe, Stay Home directive came down March 27. The directive lapsed Friday.

The last suspected domestic violence homicide in Utah was March 11 — the day the state confirmed five cases of coronavirus and Salt Lake City declared a state of emergency — when Carlos Vizcarra-Corona was found dead at his home in Kearns. His wife, Veronica Vizcarra, was arrested on suspicion of murder in his death, which police say stemmed from her beating him with a staple or nail gun on Feb. 27.

Jenn Oxborrow, executive director of the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition, said she’s just as worried about victims now as she was when everyone was encouraged to self-isolate.

Domestic violence is about control, she said. Abusers had a lot of it as households quarantined, but when society reopens, it slips away.

“Reopening society is like serving abusers with a protective order. They lose control” she said. “It could get bad over this next week.”

Resources and shelter are still available for victims of domestic violence.

Editor’s note: Those who are experiencing intimate partner violence, or know someone who is, are urged to call the Utah Domestic Violence Link Line, 1-800-897-LINK (5465), or the Utah Rape and Sexual Assault Crisis Line, 1-888-421-1100. To report child abuse and neglect, call the Division of Child and Family Services hotline at 1-855-323-DCFS. The state suicide and crisis helpline is available at 801-587-3000. For emergencies, call 911.

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