Assistant district attorney dies after domestic disturbance

Posted at: 12/28/2012 9:27 PM
Updated at: 12/28/2012 10:13 PM
By: Joe Vigil, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Gallup police say Jim Bierly, the McKinley County Chief Deputy Assistant District Attorney, died from an apparent suicide Thursday morning after fighting with his girlfriend.

Police believe Bierly shot and killed himself with a shotgun at his girlfriend's home.

Police say Bierly beat up his girlfriend, identified as Valerie Curley.

Authorities say after the beating Curley's nine-year-old son ran out of the house to a neighbor's home, while Curley ran to another neighbor's home.

Police say that's when Bierly ran out of the home with a pistol and fired at Curley. Neighbor Debora Money says she heard the gunshots.

"I saw them (police) digging out bullets in that house there," Money told KOB Eyewitness News 4 on scene. "We could have been in the window or walking by. My kids coming home, they could have got shot." 

Authorities say Bierly then went back into the home and killed himself with a shotgun blast to the chest.

Police say Curley suffered injuries to her face and head from the beating. They say her nine-year-old son wasn't hurt.

Friends of Bierly tell KOB 4 there was no indication that something like this was about to happen.

"I just saw him over the weekend shopping with his girlfriend in the mall here and everything seemed fine," said friend Joe Kolb. "The whole incident is just a total shock. I wouldn't have guessed this in a million years."