Authorities have identified the perpetrator and victims in what police are calling a murder-suicide in the quiet Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of North Richland Hills, Star-Telegram reports.
According to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office, Dr. Christopher Dawson, 36, a surgeon, took his own life with a shotgun, after first shooting dead both his children.
Officials identified the victims as Luke Dawson, 9, and Aubrey Dawson, 5, and stated that both Luke died from gunshot wounds to his head and torso, and Aubrey died of a gunshot wound to her head.
Dawson was employed at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center, Waxahachie from Sept. 4 until Oct. 20, according to hospital records.
The clinic did not provide information about the circumstances of Dawson’s departure from the medical facility, but issued the following statement:
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and all those affected by this tragedy.”
The horrific incident took place at the family’s home in 7400 block of South College Circle, North Richland Hills, Fort Worth, Texas, on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 9, the Epoch Times reported.
The mother of the children, Rachel Dawson, reportedly discovered all the bodies and called North Richland Hills police around 7:15 a.m. Saturday.
The family moved to Texas several months ago.
“I met Rachel at a boot camp class and she would bring her kids, Luke and Bree, sometimes,” said the woman’s former Phoenix area neighbor Ariel Borg, 12News reports.
Borg says she befriended Rachel Dawson and her kids, but said something didn’t seem right with her husband.
“He was very, very controlling of Rachel to the extent that after a certain point he no longer allowed her to be friends with us,” Borg said.
Then the unthinkable happened.
“We saw warning signs but I don’t think anyone could have guessed that this would’ve happened. It shocked everyone,” said Borg.
According to Star-Telegram, neighbors living across the street from the Dawson family residence said they heard an alarming noise around 6:30 a.m., as they were preparing to leave for work.
“We heard some weird like yelp-type thing. She was like, ‘Did you hear that?’ I thought it was an animal or something,” neighbor Tanner Franklin said.
Another neighbor heard the mother’s screams early in the morning and later saw police on the scene.
The authorities say they have no record of any prior incidents involving the family, nor were they aware of any signs that anything may have been amiss.
“There’s no history here,” police spokeswoman Carissa Katekaru told NBC5. “We’re still trying to figure out why. I grew up in North Richland Hills and I would call this a pretty quiet neighborhood.”
Ariel Borg is hosting a candlelight vigil at her home for Rachel, Luke, and Bree Wednesday night, Dec. 13. It will be led by her family and the pastor of the church the Dawsons once attended.
“This community is feeling that loss. Her family [were] our neighbor[s],” Borg said.
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