Woman Shot To Death In Bedroom


A 41-year-old woman died Friday evening when the live-in caretaker of the Star Valley home she shared with her husband allegedly burst into their bedroom Friday night, fired several shots at her husband and shot her in the head.

Calista Brown Wright died that evening from a gunshot wound to the head.

The events leading up to the fatal shooting remain a mystery, her husband, Garrett, said Monday from his primary home in Mesa.

"We've known (the suspect, Paul Roosen) ever since we bought our house up there --about four years, I guess," Wright said. "He did painting for me, and we befriended him when he got evicted from his trailer park and allowed him to move in with us. He'd been living at (the Star Valley home) for about 14 months."

Wright said Roosen acted as caretaker for the couple's dogs and properties when they were on vacation. The Wright's main home is in Mesa, and they used the Star Valley residence on Chitwood Trail as a weekend retreat.

The shooting Friday night happened shortly after Wright and his wife had finished dinner, he said.

"I had gone to bed because my back was bothering me," he said. "I had taken my medicine and lain down with the heating pad. My wife was finishing up, cleaning the kitchen and the dishes."

Roosen returned home that evening, just before 10 p.m., while Mrs. Wright was in the master bathroom getting ready for bed.

"She'd no sooner been in the bathroom, and closed our bedroom door, when our door flew open and shots started firing at me," Wright said. "I think he fired three at me, and one of my dogs was laying on the bed with me. By the grace of God, I don't know how either one of us kept from getting hit.

"I rolled off the bed immediately," he said. "My wife came out of the bathroom and said, 'Paul, what the hell are you doing.' He turned and fired at her and she got hit in the head."

Wright said he stayed on the floor for a moment, then summed up enough courage to get up.

"The bedroom was closed," he said. "I walked into the closet, got my gun and made sure it was cocked and ready."

Wright said he slowly walked down the hall, just in time to see Roosen walking back to his bedroom.

"Instead of me shooting him, I hit him in the back of the head," he said. "My gun discharged and fired into the ceiling. It fell out of my hand, and I didn't have any way of defending myself. But I grabbed a pool stick and started beating him as hard as I could. I did that until I was sure he couldn't get up. I called 911 while my wife was laying there in a pool of blood just gurgling."

Mrs. Wright was taken to Payson Regional Medical Center and was later flown to a Valley hospital where she died from her wounds.

Roosen, 38, was arrested on charges of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. He remains in custody at Maricopa County Medical Center, where he is being treated for head wounds.

"He was quite intoxicated," said Det. George Ratliff. A blood-alcohol test was performed on the suspect, but results have not yet been released.

"Alcohol definitely (was) a factor," he said.

The investigation into the shooting is ongoing, and detectives from the Gila County Sheriff's Department said they will release more information as it becomes available.

Wright said he was still trying to figure out what Roosen's motive was for the shooting.

"We'd never had any arguments, never any problems," he said. "I told him in November that I was going to raise his rent, and he wasn't happy about that. But nothing more was ever said about it.

"I don't know what was going through his mind."

"(Roosen) was kind of Calista's project," said Vincent Kriz, a friend of the Wright's. "She felt sorry for him after he was thrown out of his house. It was her project to save him. I guess it didn't work."

Funeral services for Calista Wright will be held at 1 p.m., Wednesday, at the Church of the Epiphany Episcopal Church in Tempe.

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