Police arrested Selami Ozdemir on family violence charges Saturday afternoon, his second domestic violence arrest in five months. He posted bail and got out of custody with a condition on his release: Do not go home.
But Ozdemir, 42, already facing charges of violating a protective order, went there anyway, police said.
About 3:30 a.m. Sunday, Ozdemir's wife, Shengyl Rasim, 25, called police to report that Ozdemir was banging on the door at their Blohm Street home. He left before police arrived.
Then, half an hour later, police received another 911 call from the home. This time, dispatchers could hear only the sound of crying and banging noises, according to police.
Police forced their way into the home, where they found the bodies of Rasim and Ozdemir, both dead from apparent gunshot wounds. Their children, boys aged 6 years old and 7 months, were inside, but it was not clear if they witnessed the shootings, West Haven police Sgt. Martin Garcia said.
Police were investigating the shootings, but were not seeking additional suspects. They described it as a suspected murder-suicide.
According to court records, West Haven police arrested Ozdemir in September on charges of second-degree assault, risk of injury to a child and second-degree threatening. The case was pending and was being handled in a court family violence program. A protective order was issued, but Ozdemir continued to live with his wife, police said.
Sandra Koorejian, executive director of Domestic Violence Services of Greater New Haven, said that protective orders, while effective in many cases, have limits.
"A police officer once told me, a protective order is a piece of paper. It's not a bulletproof shield," she said. "They can be a very effective safety strategy for some but obviously not all cases."
Protective orders are one option for victims of domestic violence, she said. Another is going into a shelter, but some victims choose not to do so, in some cases because they do not want to leave their home or uproot their children, especially because they did nothing wrong.
Some victims see protective orders as sufficient, Koorejian said.
"If somebody is bent on finding somebody, whether they have the protective order or not, if there is not the respect for a court order, there is really nothing that anybody can do," she said.
Speaking generally, Koorejian said that often in murder-suicide cases, the offender believes that he cannot live without the other person.
On Saturday, police arrested Ozdemir about 5:30 p.m. He was charged with disorderly conduct, risk of injury to a minor, third-degree assault and violation of a protective order.
Ozdemir posted $25,000 bail. And, as a condition of his release, he was prohibited from returning to the home until after he appeared in court.
Aside from the case in September and the calls this weekend, Garcia said it did not appear that the department had responded to any calls from the couple's home.
On Sunday, police were working with family and the state Department of Children and Families to help the two boys.
•Nick Caito of Fox 61 contributed to this story.