HARLINGEN — Police are trying to learn why a man shot his wife Sunday and then fired at police, an official said Monday.
Price Robinson Perrin, 87, shot his wife with a .38 special shortly before 1 p.m. Sunday in the street in front of their house in the Cottonwood Creek Country Club, Sgt. Dave Osborne said.
Osborne, the police public information officer, said police saw Barbara Perrin shot in the torso after they arrived at the couple’s home in the 1300 block of Maple Ave. in response to a family disturbance.
The woman was listed in critical condition late Monday at Valley Baptist Medical Center.
“We’re speaking with family members right now and neighbors to try and determine what may have been the cause,” Osborne said. “We’re getting some information in.”
Osborne would not say what investigators had learned so far, stating the case was still under investigation.
“The family members that we’re talking to are coming in from out of town and they should be in tonight,” Osborne said Monday. “We’re hoping to speak with them in the next day or so. We want to give them time to make arrangements for their father and then come and speak with the investigator.”
Osborne said police saw Perrin shoot his wife, and then fire at officers, who had ordered him to drop his weapon. Police returned fire, fatally wounding Perrin.
The three officers involved in the shooting are on administrative leave as per department policy, Osborne said. An autopsy was conducted on Perrin on Monday, and the results are pending.
Osborne said that among the questions investigators are asking is if Perrin suffered some illness that may have contributed to the incident.
“We’re looking into all avenues of what may have been going through his mind,” he said. “We’re speaking with neighbors about his attitude and demeanor.”
A neighbor who lives across the street from the Perrin house, said she saw the entire incident.
The woman, who declined to give her name, called the incident “very shocking,” and added, “This is a pretty quiet neighborhood.”
She said the couple had only recently purchased the home, and described them as “feeble.” Perrin, she said, used a walker and carried an oxygen tank with him. His wife had “trouble getting around.”
She commended the police on how they handled the matter.
“The police were very professional and kept the neighborhood safe, because (Perrin) did have a gun,” the neighbor said.
Alicia Champion, who is a care provider for a woman in a house nearby, said one family member had complained about him.
“She was always complaining about the man being too aggressive, mostly toward the wife,” Champion said.
However, Perrin was also helpful.
“A week ago he came out here and instructed us how to change a tire for my car,” she said. “The step-daughter said he was very bright. His mind was pretty active.”
Osborne said the step-daughter was the one who called police.
“I believe at some point he fired shots before we got there,” Osborne said. Police were initially given an address at Maple Court, which is about 10 minutes away.
“As soon as we got there (Perrin) was out in the street,” he said. “It was over within 10-15 seconds.”