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Man who fatally shot spouse dies from self-inflicted wounds

A Mason County man who shot and killed his estranged wife and then turned the gun on himself over the weekend has died from his injuries.

Richard Franklin, 49, of North Main Street, was pronounced dead shortly after 1 a.m. Monday at Cabell Huntington Hospital, Point Pleasant Capt. Joe Veith said in a telephone interview.

Officers were called to the Franklin home on North Main Street just after 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Dispatchers alerted officers that neighbors had just reported hearing shots fired.

When officers arrived, neighbors told them several shots had been fired in the house but no one had come out.

State troopers and officers from the Mason County Sheriff's Office helped Point Pleasant police enter the home.  

Inside, officers found Kelli Franklin, 43, dead on the floor of a bedroom. Richard had a self-inflicted gunshot wound but was still alive, Veith said.

He was taken to Pleasant Valley Hospital and later flown to Cabell Huntington.

The captain did not know how many shots were fired or how many times Kelli or Richard were struck.  

"It's tragic," Veith said. "There's a lot of lives involved here. They both had children. It's pretty tragic all around."

Veith said the two were married but estranged. They were not living together at the time of the shooting.  

Officers were familiar with the couple and had been called to the home in the past.

"A couple of months ago, they were both arrested for battery on each other," Veith said. "He filed a DVP (domestic violence protective order) on her earlier this month."

Veith said Kelli was in the home with her son, another juvenile and a friend. Richard entered the home and ordered the others out.

The friend left, but Kelli's son and his friend hid in a bedroom and bathroom. Both boys fled out of windows when they heard the shots, Veith said.

Officers recovered a single handgun. Veith wasn't sure if a note was left.   

The incident remains under investigation.  

Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at or 304-348-4850.


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