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Murder-suicide leaves Elgin residents in shock

Elgin, OK, residents and officials say they are finding it hard to understand what led Raymond Lee Dye to fatally shoot his estranged wife and then himself in a bank parking lot.
BY RON JACKSON Modified: July 21, 2010 at 11:29 am •  Published: July 21, 2010

— Barbara Diane Dye may have been the only one who believed her estranged husband when he threatened to end her life.

Dye documented the threat in a protective order in which the Elgin teacher and businesswoman claimed Raymond Lee Dye yelled, "I will kill you."

The order was filed July 8, the same day she filed for divorce.

Eleven days later, both lay dead in the parking lot of an Elgin bank in a murder-suicide that few, if any, in this community of 1,400 people probably understand.

"This is such a tragedy — a murder-suicide," said Elgin Police Chief Carl Bremenkamp on Tuesday as he shook his head in disbelief. "We know we have an open-and-closed case. What we don't have is the why.

"What happened to him that made him do this?"

Barbara Dye, 40, died from multiple gunshots to the chest. Raymond Dye, 42 and a Lawton firefighter, fell across her body dead after witnesses saw him turn a handgun on himself, point it at his chest and pull the trigger.

Clues behind the tragedy can be found within Barbara Dye's protective order, which stated, "Since being told that I want a divorce due to his affair, Ray has repeatedly threatened me saying he would kill me."

Barbara Dye, known as Diane to friends and family, ended her statement with the prophetic line: "I fear that he will have a violent reaction when he receives divorce papers."

"We had concerns," said Tom Crimmins, Elgin Public Schools superintendent. "Let's face it; we're a small school. We hear things. We knew Diane had filed a protective order. But did I ever think it would get to this point? No."

Raymond Dye possessed a reputation as a fiery person, sources told The Oklahoman.

When asked about Dye's employment history, Lawton City Manager Larry Mitchell admitted, "We had difficulties."

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