SALEM (CBS) - Court documents show the woman who was shot leaving work in Salem, Massachusetts Monday night was denied a restraining order against the man who police say pulled the trigger. A judge denied the request just weeks before the shooting.
The woman, whose identity has not been released, was leaving Doyle Sailmakers where coworkers say she was a manager. The 33-year-old woman remains in the hospital with life threatening injuries.
Investigators said she was shot by a man identified as 55-year-old Richard Lorman of Wilton, New Hampshire. Lorman then shot and killed himself, according to police.
Coworkers of the woman say the two had previously been in a relationship and she was working to get a restraining order against him. She had told the New Hampshire judge that her ex-boyfriend was vengeful and had threatened her life.
While a judge granted a temporary order on September 21, she denied the restraining order a month later, on October 20, saying according to New Hampshire state law, it wasn't considered abuse.
Court documents revealed the woman had reported threats Lorman made against her including, "You can't trust anything will be okay anymore, I am going to turn your world upside down. You'll see. You'll pay. You chose this."
Legal experts are baffled as to how the petition for domestic violence protection could be denied.
"It's just mind boggling and it really raised questions for me, who is this judge?" legal analyst Wendy Murphy said. "I mean if that isn't enough for a protective order what it is?"
The woman had warned the judge in October his behavior was getting worse, saying, "Richard started texting and calling [the victim's] family, employers, and friends in nearly daily harassment as a first step to make [her] pay. Future consequences are unknown, but his behavior seems to be escalating."
Domestic violence advocates say this is an egregious failure of the system.
"We are confounded by how a protective order petition alleging felony level offenses could have been denied," said Lyn Schollett of the NH Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence.
And legal experts say when judges deny these claims, many women suffer in silence.
"Research shows that the reason women don't come forward is because they believe the system isn't going to do anything. They are not going to be helped. Well, this case is a good example about why women feel so hopeless," Wendy Murphy said.
WBZ Security Analyst Ed Davis said the details are alarming.
"This is certainly troubling and if any of those allegations are in fact true, she should have received protection," Davis said. "This cries out for significant review. I think this is everyone's worst nightmare."
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