FARMINGTON — A man shot his wife and then turned the gun on himself in what police say was a murder-suicide in Bloomfield Thursday night.
Rafael Tena-Varela, 36, shot his wife, Yudith Burciaga-Orozco, 29, and then killed himself, according to police.
Bloomfield police responded to an incident at No. 63 of the Lee Hi Mobile Home Park, 525 North First St., at about 8:15 p.m. Tena-Varela's relative called police and reported a woman in the home was a gunshot victim, Bloomfield police Sgt. Chad Herrera said.
Bloomfield police officers and paramedics entered the home and found both Tena-Varela and Burciaga-Orozco dead. Police secured the residence and waited for a warrant to search the home, Herrera said.
"Our preliminary investigation shows what appears to be a murder-suicide," Bloomfield police Chief Mike Kovacs said in a prepared statement. "While we do not yet know all the details surrounding the incident, it appears that Tena-Varela first shot his wife, then turned the gun on himself."
Police said the couple had two daughters, who are 11 and 6 years old. The daughters were not in the home at the time of shooting.
In recent month, Burciaga-Orozco reported that her husband threatened to kill her and himself, according to police reports and court documents.
On Oct. 3, she went to the Bloomfield Police Department and said her husband had threatened to kill her because he suspected she was having an affair.
She told police that he hadn't harmed her.
Kovacs said police provided her with a domestic violence shelter, but she chose not to stay there.
Later on that same afternoon, Tena-Varela went to Bloomfield police to file a complaint against Burciaga-Orozco. He said she bit his arm when he tried to take her phone, but police couldn't find evidence of bite marks, according to a Bloomfield police report.
On Oct. 4, Burciaga-Orozco went to the Eleventh Judicial District Court and applied for a restraining order against Tena-Varela. In the order, she mentioned the Oct. 3 threat, and she also said that three months before that, Tena-Varela threatened to kill himself and the couple's two daughters, according to the court order.
Burciaga-Orozco also said in the court documents that her husband sexually assaulted her.
The San Juan County Sheriff's Office was assigned to serve Tena-Varela with the restraining order. Deputies had not served Tena-Varela with the restraining order before Thursday's incident because he was out of town, said spokeswoman Beth Utley.
On Oct. 11, Burciaga-Orozco went back to district court and terminated the restraining order, saying she and Tena-Varela wanted to work things out for the sake of their daughters.
Both Burciaga-Orozco and Tena-Varela were undocumented immigrants, according to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
"Domestic violence is an across-the-board problem, but undocumented immigrants can have a difficult time seeking out services because they are scared to go to law enforcement," said Georgette Allen, the chair of the San Juan County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Task Force and a Farmington police spokeswoman. "But there is help out there. (Immigration status) is not something law enforcement is looking for."
Thursday's shooting marked the first homicide in Bloomfield since January 2011, which was a gang-related shooting that ended in a voluntary manslaughter plea.