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One Dead, Two Wounded at Home For Battered Women

December 8, 1988

DENVER (AP) _ A resident of a home for battered women opened fire on shelter residents, killing a worker and wounding two other people before surrendering after being promised hair curlers, police said.

Juanita Angela Whitaker, 40, was being held for investigation of first- degree murder. She was scheduled to be arraigned today.

Witnesses told police the woman entered the shelter, operated by the Volunteers of America, Wednesday morning and began firing, hitting three people.

Jeanne Archuleta, 24, a housekeeper at the shelter, was shot in the head and chest while she was vacuuming an office and died later at a hospital. Ken Sanchez, 29, also an employee, was shot in the stomach and Pamela Hand, 31, a client, was hit in the right leg. Both were in satisfactory condition.

Police said the woman continued walking down the first-floor hallway, firing into closed doors.

After the shooting started, Sanchez and Hand locked themselves in a first- floor office and Whitaker ran downstairs and locked herself in her basement apartment.

Sgt. Phil Dinan, who negotiated the woman’s surrender, said she demanded hair curlers before turning herself in.

″She was saying, ’I need to get dressed, I need to put on my make-up. I need my curlers. I can’t find them,‴ Dinan said.″She was threatening to kill officers, and she was threatening to kill herself.″

Dinan said the woman wanted to surrender, but was afraid.

″She kept saying, ’I watch TV, I know you cops come in and kill people,‴ Dinan said.

Whitaker finally gave up and surrendered after being told she would be taken out an exit shielded from news cameras. Police said Whitaker was a former nurse’s aide from Norfolk, Va.

Authorities said they were still trying to determine a motive, although Carla Eilts, Whitaker’s roommate, said the woman was distraught over a phone call informing her that she would have to leave the center.

Before hanging up, Whitaker said, ″That’s the end for me,″ authorities said.

″Then she had that mean look like she was getting frustrated. She got mad ... and she took it out on everybody,″ Eilts said.

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