Deborah Storey had started a new career two days before she was shot. She passed the state’s licensing exam to become a real estate agent on Friday morning.
That afternoon, she joined her live-in boyfriend, Vincent "Rocky" Dziepak, to work at a north Scottsdale real estate office.
On Monday, Storey was recovering from a gunshot wound. Her boyfriend was dead. And her estranged husband was in critical condition, accused by police of the shootings.
Police said Storey’s husband, Charles, killed Dziepak at his Phoenix home on Sunday with multiple gun shots, then fired a bullet through Deborah Storey’s throat.
Afterward, Charles Storey turned the gun on himself, firing a shot into his mouth in Dziepak’s driveway, said Sgt. Randy Force, Phoenix police spokesman.
Nearly three months earlier, Deborah Storey filed for divorce after 26 years of marriage, Maricopa County Superior Court records show. She had stated there was no history of domestic abuse.
Deborah Storey, 50, was expected to survive the attack. Her condition was downgraded Monday to critical from guarded, a move Force said was more likely due to a misreading of her condition Sunday.
"The bullet missed the critical structure in her neck," he said. "I probably wouldn’t call her critical."
Charles Storey, a 57-yearold corporate executive, remained in critical condition Monday a John C. Lincoln Hospital-North Mountain in Phoenix, Force said.
The death of Dziepak, 50, sent his colleagues into "a huge array of mourning," said Dave Messner, owner of the RE/MAX branch the couple was to work in. "It’s just a very tragic, tragic story."
Deborah Storey and Dziepak met in October, Messner said. As soon as she was licensed by the Arizona Department of Real Estate, they had planned to become partners and sell homes in Fountain Hills and north Scottsdale.
The state agency confirmed Monday that Deborah Storey was licensed last week. Prior to joining RE/MAX, she was employed with a Scottsdale doctor as a patient care assistant, according to court records.
In the meantime, Charles Storey has been living in a townhouse on Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard west of Loop 101, records show. Deborah Storey stated in court records they had separated in July and, arguing that the "marriage is irretrievably broken," requested a divorce in February.
Charles Storey had worked for L ockheed Martin, a defense contractor, and Avnet, a technology company, before taking a position with 180 Connect in July. Storey was vice president of human resources for the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based technical services company, said Gerry Thorning, 180 Connect’s chief operating officer.
The company has a small office in Phoenix that Charles Storey headed. There were no signs he was distressed or that he planned to leave the company, Thorning said.
However, Thorning — who is based in Florida — noted it would have been difficult for him to see any problems. The top executives also travel extensively to 180 Connect’s offices across the country.
Deborah Storey was requesting a share of her husband’s salary in alimony — $3,737 a month or roughly $45,000 a year, court records show. She argued she was entitled to that support because she was 50 years old and therefore unable to earn enough herself.
In addition, Deborah Storey sought their "extensive collection of Waterford Crystal and Baccarat Crystal." One of the Charles Storey’s life insurance policies has a $300,000 death benefit, for which she requested to remain the beneficiary.