ELGIN — 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
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."
Mitchell declined further comment.
By all accounts, Raymond Dye's mood swings appeared to escalate after learning of his wife's plans for divorce.
On July 13, Wade Daniel Phair filed a protective order alleging Raymond Dye rode the bumper of his vehicle with his truck, "while sounding his horn through downtown Elgin" the day before.
Phair was a member of a gym the Dyes owned, Bremenkamp said, and was reportedly suspected of flirting with Barbara Dye.
"It's just hard to tell what the truth is at this point," Bremenkamp admitted. "Who knows?"
Interviews with witnesses gave Bremenkamp only a glimpse of the rage.
"Witnesses said Ray blocked Diane with his truck, grabbed her by the arm and tried to pull her toward him," Bremenkamp said. "She fought back, and that's when Ray fired multiple gunshots into her chest. He then turned the gun on himself."
The Dyes owned a local gym and sandwich shop and were very active in the community. Flowers sat outside the couple's gym Tuesday, with photographs of Barbara taped to the window. A sign read, "We will never forget you.... May you finally be in peace."
Barbara Dye also worked as a seventh-grade reading teacher at the Elgin Middle School.
"She was very popular with the students and very good at what she did," Crimmins said.
"She was always very professional. ... Ray, he was such a big supporter. He often brought sandwiches from the shop for various sporting events and sometimes to our faculty meetings.
"These were two people we all knew, and knew well. And now they are gone. We're just absolutely shocked."
The Dyes leave behind two children, Dustin and Morgan. Dustin is training to become a Lawton police officer. Morgan is entering her senior year at Elgin High School.