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Durham couple dead in murder-suicide had filed domestic violence complaints

Posted May 23, 2013

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— A divorced Durham couple that died in a murder-suicide Wednesday had filed domestic violence complaints against each other in the past, according to court documents.

Police were called Wednesday to the Duke Forest Place office building, in the 3300 block of Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard, and found 40-year-old Millicent Blair-Arnett dead in the parking lot.

Her ex-husband, Anthony Carl Arnett, 45, shot himself when officers arrived, police said. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

In 2008, Blair-Arnett filed a request for a domestic violence protective order against her husband. In her complaint, she described Arnett as a mean, vindictive and spiteful person with psychological problems. She also claimed he made threats to commit suicide in the past.

A year later, Arnett filed a domestic violence complaint against his wife, saying she had threatened to kill him and chased him out of the house.

The former couple had two boys, ages 9 and 5.

Authorities on Thursday released a recording of the 911 call made by a witness in the office complex.

Durham double fatal shooting Couple dead in Durham murder-suicide had restraining orders

In the harrowing, four-minute call, the man describes a man with a gun who is standing over a woman lying face down in an adjacent parking lot.

“I heard screams and I heard shots,” the caller says. “I walked out of my building over to the woods and he was standing over her. I ran back and told all my (coworkers) to get the hell out and run.”

The caller, who is frightened but calm, keeps an eye on Arnett while staying on the line until officers arrived. At one point, he puts the call-taker on hold to go lock the door.

“Here they come, here they come. Thank god,” he says when police arrive. “Tell them to be really careful.”

A moment later, he tells the call-taker, “Shots fired, shots fired. Unfortunately, I think they had to shoot him – or he might have shot himself.”

The call-taker confirms the shooting, and the breathless witness exhales.

“Why do these crazy people do this?” he said. “Lord have mercy.”

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