Police: Husband killed wife, himself inside Durham home

Jan Melnik says one of her children drew this picture while under the direction of Terry Bourrett.
Jan Melnik says one of her children drew this picture while under the direction of Terry Bourrett.

DURHAM, Conn. (WTNH) — Police say 74-year-old Donald Bourrett shot and killed his wife, 71-year-old Terry, before turning the gun on himself at their Main Street home Tuesday night.

Terry was a well-known artist and teacher in town.

“You truly wonder what could have been so terribly wrong to have that occur. I can’t fathom,” said Jan Melnik, whose children took lessons from Terry. “It was a great place for them to go and learn and be surrounded by her love and creative ability. She was very talented and kind, and nurtured that creativity in her students.”

Both suffered gunshot wounds to the head. Police say the family dog was also shot and killed outside. Someone called 911 around 8 p.m., saying they were concerned for the Bourretts. It took detectives hours to document the home.

Original Story: Police respond to murder-suicide in Durham

Crime scenes are not something locals are used to seeing in this neighborhood.

“I am very surprised that it happened around here, like this is such a great neighborhood and great town,” said Samantha Ferry. “I am completely in shock right now that it happened so close to home.”

The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports on average 12 people die in the state every year from domestic violence relationships. Kelly Annelli says she lost her friend, 27-year-old Kyla Ryng, back in June when Ryng’s husband, 26-year-old Alex, shot and killed her, and then killed himself.

“She spoke with me about wanting to leave, wanting to get a divorce, and she just wasn’t happy anymore,” said Annelli.

The Ryngs’ children were home at the time of the shooting and ran next door to their grandparents.

“There’s many other ways to be abused, not just physically,” said Annelli.

Annelli says she never saw bruising on Kyla, but saw Alex as controlling and emotionally abusive. Kyla had filed for divorce days before the shooting. Now, Annelli works as an advocate for other domestic violence victims.

“I think Kyla put me here to be honest. I really do,” said Annelli. “I think sometimes she thanks me and sometimes I thank her.”

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