A cop shot his wife and then killed himself, but you wouldn't know it from this headline

"Exonerative tense" is a term for the evasive, passive style of writing used by news media when police kill people—a world of "officer-involved" shootings in which guns "discharge" but are never fired. In most cases, it concerns an on-duty incident and a police press release that is the reporter's only source. In this case in Alabama, though, things are a little less on-duty and a little more exonerative-tensed than usual:

Killed and critically injured by who, exactly? And after a shooting?

Stephen Miller shot Amanda Miller and then himself, of course, but the headline is so tuned to the police-approved language of police killings that it ends up fabricating a nonsensical scenario that invites readers to imagine a third-party killer, then hides it after the time it takes for a bullet to reach its target (2 milliseconds, given a typical service pistol and 18 inches to cover.)

That very station's own latest tweet illustrates how easy it is to get to the point when you're not confused by other priorities:

The story has, at least, been updated to make clear from the outset what happened.

The story headline was updated to make the circumstances clear. We apologize for the previous headline, which was misleading.