ELYRIA, Ohio (WOIO) - A 44-year-old father shot and killed his wife and three young children before committing suicide, police said.
The bodies of the five family members were found inside their home in the 500 block of Willow Park Road early Wednesday morning.
Elyria police said they were called out to the home after the father didn’t show up for work and his boss became concerned.
Police have identified the victims as John Nelson, Robin Nelson, 35, Gavin Nelson, 12, Brianna Nelson, 10 and Liam Nelson, 6.
Elyria City Schools confirmed the three children attended schools in their district.
“This devastating news has deeply shaken our staff and school community,” school officials said.
The district said an Elyria Schools team of counselors and social workers trained in trauma and crisis care will be available for students, parents, and staff in need of support at Elyria High School on Monday from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
“I know they were trying to get out of this neighborhood and move out to the country somewhere and he just wanted to stay busy with the kids and keep them out of trouble so none of this is making any sense, were just lost right now,” cousin Ben Runyon told 19 News.
“They were a typical family. They kept the three kids busy. They were in baseball and volleyball and soccer and ballet. There was two boys and a girl and the wife worked as a nurse and he worked down the road at a plastic bag factory and he lived here his entire life,” said Runyon.
19 News also spoke with a neighbor who said she heard gunshots Tuesday night.
“I thought it was fireworks at first, but it was gunshots. My husband jumped up out of bed, he said those were gunshots,” said Renetta Hubbard.
Another neighbor said her 12-year-old daughter was the same age as their daughter and they would play together in the family’s back yard.
“Very sad,” said Josalyn Woolfork. “Very sad, you just never know what people are going through.”
Woolfork also said she had seen the couple arguing outside recently and in some cases, the wife would leave but she never thought much of it.