Three people were found dead in a home after a suspected double murder-suicide involving a husband, wife, and her mother in a house full of people.
A woman who was also home at the time called 911 and told emergency dispatchers Tuesday afternoon that a man had shot and killed two people and then himself at a home in the Hazel Dell area of Vancouver. She did not immediately indicate what may have led to the shooting.
Deputies responded to the 2600 block of Northeast 98th Street at 3:43 p.m. Tuesday.
Upon arriving, deputies discovered the bodies of three people. Their names have not been released. Investigators said they were still working to contact out-of-state relatives.
Deputies said the shooting happened in a house full of people, with others in the front yard at the time, as well. Investigators said at least seven family members are believed to live in the home, including children.
The children were not injured.
“We heard two unusual sounds, like two pops or two bangs or crashes and I said, ‘What’s that noise?’” neighbor Georgia Maudsley told Fox 12, adding that she didn’t think anything of it at the time. “I came outside to get the mail and I saw next door a young girl sitting on the lawn crying and two boys, I assume they’re his children, were crying and really upset. Then we were told [by deputies] to get in the house.”
Major crimes and tactical detectives from the Clark County Sheriff's Office were called to the scene.
Neighbors who returned home from work arrived to the police activity and news of the shooting.
“I’ve talked to [the man living there] a couple times and he’s just the nicest guy ever, he talks to my kids,” neighbor Stephany Browning said. “I wouldn’t have ever thought this kind of thing could happen here, just – it’s devastating to hear.”
A sheriff's office spokesman said he wasn't aware of any other law enforcement calls for response at that location in the past.
Witnesses were continuing to be interviewed by investigators Tuesday evening, while several houses in the neighborhood were taped off.
Detectives and a chaplain met with the surviving family members. A motive for the shooting has not been released.
“It’s surreal, it’s very surreal,” Maudsley’s husband, Ron, added. “I almost can’t believe this is happening.”
The Maudsley’s have lived in the neighborhood for 13 years, and said the family next door moved in 11 years ago.
“I’ve talked to him about his children, he wanted to send them all to college and wanted them to work hard and get an education and be successful. They were into basketball and sports, he was a hard worker, and his wife, I’d wave to her,” Georgia Maudsley said. “You don’t know how valuable life is. It can go so quickly, and for why?”
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