Tragic Murder-Suicide in California: Man Takes His Own Life After Fatally Shooting 8-Year-Old Daughter, Shortly After Restraining Order Granted to Girl’s Mother

A tragic incident occurred in Modesto, California, where a 50-year-old man, Donovan Halstead, fatally shot his 8-year-old daughter before turning the gun on himself. This unfortunate event took place shortly after the girl’s mother had filed a restraining order against him, seeking protection from his abusive behavior.

On July 12, law enforcement responded to a report of a suicidal person at Halstead’s residence on Havenhurst Court. They observed him holding a gun through a window and attempted to communicate with him. Halstead indicated he would come out unarmed, but sadly, before that could happen, gunshots were heard from inside the home. The police entered the residence to find Halstead suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and his 8-year-old daughter had also lost her life due to a gunshot wound. Authorities have classified the incident as a murder-suicide.

The young girl was a student in the Sylvan Union School District. Halstead was taken to a local hospital, but succumbed to his injuries two days later.

According to court records, the girl’s mother had filed a restraining order against Halstead just two days before the tragedy, on July 10, and it was approved by a judge on July 12, only hours before the violent incident occurred. The mother had claimed in her petitions that Halstead had been verbally and physically abusive during their relationship. She detailed instances of him using threats, name-calling, and physical violence, including pinning her down and choking her during an argument earlier in the year. The mother had previously sought a restraining order in 2016, expressing fears for their safety given Halstead’s erratic behavior and past suicide attempts.

The Modesto Police Department is investigating the case, and they are also looking into whether Halstead legally owned the firearm used in the tragedy. The circumstances surrounding this heartbreaking event highlight the importance of addressing domestic violence and mental health issues in society.

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