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Two dead after standoff

by Sandra Faye Douthit - Reporter
| January 3, 2012 5:19 PM

An eight-hour standoff on south Main Avenue ended in a murder-suicide ended Tuesday afternoon when law enforcement officials entered the home to find two bodies.

At approximately 6:28 a.m. Tuesday, 911 dispatch received a call from Dale Kinniburgh Jr., 51, who advised authorities he had killed his wife, Catherine Kinniburgh, 55.

Kinniburgh then told officials he was going to kill himself, which resulted in the hours-long standoff.

“Because of some of the calls we’ve received in the past from this residence, we thought it was best for safety reasons to evacuate the nearby residents,” Lincoln County Sheriff Roby Bowe said. Contrary to early reports that the nearby Kootenai Valley Christian School was on lockdown were erroneous. The school is more than two blocks from the residence at 1217 Main St.

Several law enforcement agencies responded, including the Flathead County Special Response Team (SRT). Other agencies responding included the Libby Police Department, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and the Montana Highway Patrol.

The SRT responded with snipers and special-tactics teams. 

At approximately 2:21 p.m. the SRT entered the residence. No shots were fired by law enforcement.

The Kinniburghs were pronounced dead at the scene by Coroner Steve Schnackenberg.