A Petaluma woman's visit to a divorce attorney Sunday afternoon ended in violence when, police said, her estranged husband shot and fatally wounded her on a downtown side street before killing himself.
The 2 p.m. shooting happened in front of 10 Keller St., a small office building where the woman had been visiting the attorney, said Petaluma police Lt. Tim Lyons.
Police did not release the names of the two people involved or confirm their marital status, but friends of the family identified them as Kevin Conover, 41, and Kim Conover, 43.
Kevin Conover died at 5 p.m. at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. Police identified him as the shooter and said his wound appears to have been self-inflicted.
Kim Conover was hospitalized in critical condition and died at 9 p.m. Sunday, a hospital spokeswoman said.
She was a second-grade teacher at Meadow Elementary School and mother of four children, including a twin boy and girl younger than than 2 years old that she had with her husband, and two teenage girls.
Kevin Conover graduated from Petaluma High School in 1988, a year after Kim Conover.
Friends of the couple who were at the shooting scene Sunday said the pair had been experiencing marital troubles. Some said they were in the process of getting a divorce.
The two had apparently arrived separately to the office on Keller Street. Kevin Conover's car was parked in a lot nearby while Kim Conover's car was parked in front of the office.
When police arrived, they found the two lying in the street and dragged them to safety, believing that a third person may have been involved.
Police at the scene later identified that third person as Jeff Zimmerman, the divorce attorney who met with Kim Conover, and who police said witnessed the shooting. Zimmerman was led away for questioning in handcuffs, a procedure police described as routine in such cases.
No other person was believed to be involved, Lyons said.
A revolver used in the shooting was found on the sidewalk outside the law office. Blood stains from the victims marked the sidewalk and road. The number of shots fired was unknown.
Police and sheriff's deputies cordoned off a half block area of Keller Street, where the women's clothing cut off by paramedics was left in the street.
Lyons reported that the couple's children — he did not say who or how many — were in the area at the time of the shooting, but were unhurt and taken in by authorities.
Brian Bakalar, a longtime friend of Kevin Conover's who arrived at the scene hours after the shooting, said Kim Conover had moved out of the couple's house and was living with her parents in Petaluma.
At a dinner Friday night, Bakalar said Kevin Conover was upset with the situation. But there was no sign his friend was contemplating anything like Sunday's shooting, Bakalar said.
Other bystanders said the violence had shattered a quiet day downtown.
"It was this beautiful spring day," said Sonoma County Supervisor David Rabbitt, who was at a supermarket less than a block away at the time of the shooting and watched the police response unfold. "It makes you pause."
Lyons, the police lieutentant, called the violent incident "rare." He said the last homicide in Petaluma was two years ago.