Donna Royer, a 40-year-old Parker, Colo. mother of two, was shot and killed in a McDonald's parking lot by her ex-husband Mark Royer on Tuesday evening in what police are calling a murder-suicide, according to The Denver Post. Donna's 11- and 14-year-old daughters were waiting inside the restaurant when the shooting occurred.
While Donna walked out to her car in the McDonald's parking lot, police say Mark, 53, shot Donna three times in the chest. Later that Tuesday evening with the same gun he used on Donna, Mark took his own life at Hidden Mesa Open Space Area near Ponderosa High School in Parker. 7News reports that Donna and ex-husband Mark were planning on telling their daughters about Donna's recent engagement sometime after Christmas, but it remains unclear if they planned to do it at this gathering at McDonald's. Donna and Mark had been married for 15 years and divorced in 2010.
Apparently Mark's violence was not an isolated incident, just this last April Donna had filed a restraining order against Mark for domestic violence, according to 9News. The order came after Donna tolerated more than a year of threatening emails and voicemails from Mark and even one incident in 2010 where Mark allegedly threatened the lives of both Donna and her boyfriend at a Starbucks, according to The Daily Mail. Court records indicated that Donna was a frequent victim of domestic violence, KRDO reports.
According to the Associated Press Mark Royer had worked at the University of Colorado School of Medicine's Department of Psychiatry as a research assistant until he resigned on Aug. 31.
A Facebook page has been set up in Donna Royer's memory with more information about memorial services and where to make donations to help her children.