A family of five, including three children, was found fatally shot in their Culpeper, Virginia, home in what appears to be a murder-suicide.
The bodies of Clarence and Shauna Washington, both 35, and their three daughters — 4-year-old Olivia, 6-year-old Onya and 13-year-old Omesha — were found inside their home Sunday night.
Family and friends told authorities that the couple had been having an ongoing domestic dispute that apparently grew more heated Saturday night. Authorities never received any calls for help from the home.
The Culpeper Sheriff said that the death investigation has been preliminarily classified as a murder-suicide.
The last known contact with the family was around 5:20 p.m. Saturday. They didn’t attend St. Stephen’s Baptist Church on Sunday, as they usually did.
By Sunday night, their relatives had gotten worried, so Shauna Washington’s mother, Diane Minor, and a cousin went to the family’s home at 14458 Rixeyville Road. They found it locked up, but Minor forced her way in through a small window.
Inside the house, she found the bodies of her daughter, son-in-law and three granddaughters.
Authorities received a call around 10 p.m.
One of Shauna Washington’s cousins, Nicole Minor-Melvin, said Shauna had wanted out of her marriage, but Clarence didn’t. She said she’d never imagined something like this would happen. Shauna was more like a sister to her than a cousin.
“My prayers, my pictures of us, our conversations; that was my sister,” she said before breaking into tears. “That’s my heart, my best friend, my world.”
Minor-Melvin described Shauna as an incredibly involved, loving mother who headed up two Girl Scout troops at the Daisy and Cadet levels.
Shauna Washington was born and raised in Culpeper. For 12 years, she worked as a certified nursing assistant at Culpeper Health and Rehab before transitioning into home health care, all while taking classes online. Monday would have been her first day selling insurance at AFLAC.
Shauna’s family members said Clarence Washington had owned four guns, and the couple had growing difficulties, but added that Clarence was not a bad person, and was a good provider.
He worked two jobs: foreman at the Bingham and Taylor Grey Iron Foundry by day, and as a custodian for Culpeper County Schools by night.
Shauna’s family members said Clarence did not have a criminal history, but they have no doubt he is responsible for the crime.
The sheriff said a gun was recovered at the scene.
The Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police are at the home collecting evidence.
“>Source: NBC Washington