Woman Who'd Been Mortally Wounded in Shooting that Also Killed Mom Names Suspect in Final Moments: Her Husband

In recent weeks, Marcia McGrath had taken steps to distance herself from her husband

<p>Maricopa County Sheriff

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

Robert Alan McGrath in June 2024 mugshot.

Several weeks ago, the Arizona woman reportedly filed a police report alleging that her husband had threatened to kill her.

Then, a week before Marcia McGrath’s killing, the 53-year-old woman filed for divorce.

Now, her husband, Robert Alan McGrath, 60, is charged with murder in connection with the deaths of his wife and her mother, Thea Merlino, 77.

At 3:07 a.m. on Tuesday, June 25, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call about a man with a gun in Sun City, Ariz., the agency said in a press release.

A neighbor reported hearing a loud noise from a nearby apartment, and, while trying to check on the resident’s well-being, came upon “an individual, later identified as Robert McGrath, in the doorway with a handgun,” the release alleges.

“Robert pointed the gun at the complainants, ordered them to the ground and threatened to shoot them if they moved,” the release alleges. “Robert then went back into the apartment and the callers fled back into their own residence.”

Deputies arriving on the scene heard someone yelling for help within the apartment, and, pushing their way inside, found that the older woman had been shot dead and Marcia had been “severely injured” in the shooting, according to the release.

Shortly after arriving at the hospital, Marcia was pronounced dead.

But before her death, she provided law enforcement with the name of her alleged killer, per court documents obtained by News 12 and Fox 10 Phoenix.

As first responders rendered her aid, she told them, per Fox10 Phoenix, that “Robert McGrath,” had shot her, adding “I’m divorced” and that her ex “lives in El Mirage.”

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News 12 and Fox 10 both report that Marcia had filed for divorce in the week ahead of her fatal shooting.

Alluding to the police report Marcia recently filed, a state prosecutor, cited by News 12, confirmed that the homicide case included “a violation of a prior court order not to physically abuse or threaten the victim in this case, which as alleged occurred shortly after that court order was issued.”

Robert was arrested later on the day of the shooting, at his El Mirage home on two first-degree murder charges, along with one count of burglary, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of kidnapping and one count of armed robbery.

The double-homicide case was not yet filed online in Maricopa County Superior Court as of Friday afternoon.

It was not immediately clear if Robert — who is  held on a $2 million cash-only bond, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for July 5, per Fox 10 Phoenix — had entered a plea or retained a lawyer.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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