Couple dies in murder-suicide along Fort Worth highway


11:15 AM CDT on Wednesday, May 5, 2010

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/050610dnmetfwmurdersuicide.1a486cf0.htmlFort Worth Star-Telegram

A 41-year-old man pulled over for speeding in Fort Worth shot himself in the head Tuesday morning, apparently just moments after he fatally shot his estranged wife, whose SUV crashed on an East Loop 820 service road, officials said.

The woman, identified as JaPriese Platt, 32, was found dead inside herChevrolet Avalanche about 10:30 a.m. after the vehicle veered off the roadway and into a utility pole near the John T. White Road and Bridge Street exit, police said.

She had been shot in the head, police said.

Minutes later and less than a mile south, an officer on routine patrol pulled over a Ford Explorer for speeding on the same service road.

The driver, later determined to be Platt’s estranged husband, John Paul Hurd, pulled into a shopping center parking lot in the 800 block of East Loop 820, according to Sgt. Pedro Criado, a police spokesman.

Hurd shot himself before the officer had stepped out of his patrol car, Criado said.

"The officer had no idea that the woman that collided with the pole a few minutes prior was related to this SUV driving at a high rate of speed," Criado said.

"The sole reason for him conducting a traffic stop" was speeding, he said.

Hurd was pronounced dead at the scene.

Criado said the shootings appeared to have been a murder-suicide. Autopsies are scheduled for today, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office.

Officers were checking witness reports that the couple might have argued earlier at a nearby Waffle House. Criado said police have not found any witnesses to Platt’s shooting.