Who was Colleen Hoopes? 'Startled' Arizona man fatally shot ballerina wife in the middle of the night
TEMPE, ARIZONA: Colleen Hoopes, a 25-year-old Ballet Arizona dancer, was shot and killed early Friday, May 20 at her Tempe home. Her "startled" husband, Christopher Hoopes, 36, fatally shot the young ballet dancer in her Arizona home and now he's been charged with murder, authorities said.
According to court documents acquired by the Arizona Republic, Christopher called 911 at 3:30 am. to report the incident, claiming he awoke in a panic and fired twice before realising he had wounded his wife. Colleen, who was shot twice in the chest, died less than an hour later at a hospital.
According to court filings, Christopher, 36, is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting, which took place in a bedroom. His bond has been set at $750,000 with a court date planned for Thursday, May 26. Ballet Arizona tweeted Wednesday, May 25: "We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of company dancer Colleen Hoopes. Our hearts go out to her loved ones."
We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of Company Dancer, Colleen Hoopes. We dedicate our performances of Round: Reimagined For A New Stage to Colleen and the passion she brought to the stage. Our hearts go out to her loved ones. 📷: Alexander Iziliaev pic.twitter.com/11sToqpq1F— Ballet Arizona (@BalletArizona) May 25, 2022
According to Tempe police, Hoopes initially told dispatchers the shooting was an accident. "He woke up startled and fired his weapon," Sgt. Hector Encinas told the radio station, KTAR-FM. During the lethal discharge, two different rounds were fired around two seconds apart, according to a tape provided to authorities by a neighbor, according to the Arizona Republic. During their investigation, detectives found evidence that Hoopes shot from the foot of the bed to the opposite end of the bed.
Who was Colleen Hoopes?
After completing professional ballet training at a dance centre in Rochester, New York, Colleen joined Ballet Arizona in 2017. She previously attended Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music. "Colleen was an integral part of the Ballet Arizona and will be missed deeply," the group said in a statement to the Arizona Republic. "She was passionate and dedicated to her art form and a bright light to us all." According to Colleen's Facebook posts she married Hoopes in 2020. Not much information is available about Hoopes since the investigation is not yet completed.
Michaela Buckley, Colleen's sister, claimed she felt most alive while she was doing her job. Buckley told AZFamily.com, "You could tell how happy she was when she was dancing. That's where she showed her most joy and she's so free. It was really beautiful watching her on stage."
Colleen was seen performing numerous dances at Indiana University, including "The Nutcracker Snow Princess," in a video released to YouTube. Buckley and Colleen's mother, Deb Buckley, declined to comment on the probe. “You are stunned. You’re devastated. It’s a nightmare you keep trying to wake up from,” Deb said. “My heart has been ripped out of my chest and that pain is real.” Meanwhile, Colleen's family plans to establish a scholarship in her honour at Rochester's Draper Center for Dance Education.