OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - The alleged shooter in Thursday's apparent murder suicide in south Overland Park had several women file protection orders against him.
Police believe Barry Beaver shot and killed his wife Debbie Beaver Thursday morning and then turn the gun on himself.
The couple was in the middle of a divorce, and Debbie was granted a protection from stalking order against Barry in November.
Johnson County court records show one woman filed for a protection from abuse order against Barry in 1998, but the request failed because both parties did show up for court. A separate woman filed for the same order in 1996 but dropped her request, according to court records.
Ilene Shehan, Chief Operating Officer of Hope House, the largest shelter for domestic violence in Kansas City, says leaving an abusive relationship can be very dangerous.
"When a victim leaves that relationship, she's 75 percent more likely to be killed," Shehan said. "But we have resources that can help."
Shehan says domestic violence is about power and control, and when the victim files for a divorce or a restraining order, the abuser feels like he or she is losing that power and can become very desperate and take drastic measures.
"Many times I have worked with women who have said it's much easier to go back because they know at least where he's at," Ilene said.
Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass says protection and restraining orders can be effective as long as the people who filed them call police with they feel the orders are being violated.
"People think of [restraining orders] as a personal protective order where the police will some how be able to protect them, and what it really is an order to the other individual not do some things."
Chief Douglass says, outside of Debbie telling police that her husband was violating the protection order, there was nothing that could have stopped the apparent murder suicide.
Shehan encourages domestic violence victims to visit www.hopehouse.net.