Two young children and their parents have been killed in an apparent murder-suicide in Pierce County, Washington.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said they went to a man’s home after he called 911 at 1 a.m. on Tuesday, March 12, saying he had killed his wife and two children.
A Sheriff’s Department spokesman, Ed Troyer, told KIRO 7, “He thanked us for our time, but said by the time we got there he would be deceased as well, and he followed through with that.”
Triple homicide-suicide in the 5700 block of 209th ST E. Deceased are two toddlers under 5 years old and their mother. Suspect is father who committed suicide after calling 911 and stating he was responsible for homicides. Transitioning from SWAT operations to investigations.
— Pierce Co Sheriff (@PierceSheriff) March 13, 2018
SWAT officers attempted to talk the man out of the house but didn’t receive a response.
After they entered the house they found the bodies of a 29-year-old man, a 33-year-old woman, a 2-year-old boy, and a 4-year-old girl, all with gunshot wounds.
The man was found dead with a handgun near his body, Troyer said.
The woman and the children were in their beds.
It is unclear what lead up to the deaths, with police saying they hadn’t previously been called to the address.
“It’s very somber when there’s two toddlers who are dead through no fault of their own,” Troyer told Seattle Times. “Hopefully we can figure out what happened so maybe we can prevent it from happening again.”
Police said the man had been in the Air Force and stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, but the family was originally from New Hampshire.
Troyer told Seattle Times that investigators would be working with officials at the base and serving warrants on the house to establish a motive for the killings.