Two dead in apparent murder-suicide in Helper

Posted at 5:18 PM, Dec 23, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-25 09:56:06-05

HELPER -- Two men are dead in an apparent murder-suicide, police in this eastern Utah town said.

"We had a male subject go to his estranged wife's house," Helper Police Chief Trent Anderson said Monday. "He confronted a boyfriend of the female subject behind the residence and he shot him."

Police said on Sunday afternoon, 30-year-old Jermoie Bunch shot and killed 31-year-old James Mitchell, then turned the gun on himself.

“Obviously, the motive as to why he did this is the key factor of the investigation," Anderson said. "I don’t know if we’ll ever get to the bottom of that. But there are other investigative techniques we’re using to try and find the answer to that.”

Court documents indicated a protective order had been put in place by a judge between Bunch and his estranged wife. Other court records detailed a history of domestic abuse. Police said the couple's two sons and Mitchell's three daughters were in the home at the time of the murder-suicide.

"When she heard the gunfire, she (Bunch's estranged wife) took the children to a back room where she secured them," Anderson told FOX 13.

Neighbors were stunned.

"No time’s a good time to have children involved in tragedy. But around Christmas time, those kids are going to have a hard memory of Christmas the rest of their lives," said Colleen Haycock.

An account has been set up at Wells Fargo bank in the name of, “Bunch/Mitchell Children."