BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — An 61-year-old man is believed to have fatally shot his family — his wife, his daughter and his son — before killing himself on Sunday morning, Bloomington police said.
Bloomington Police Department shortly after 10:15 a.m. Sunday went to a home in the 2600 block of South Olcott Boulevard. That’s on the city’s southeast side.
A female had called police after going to the home to pick up her friend. No one answered the door when she arrived, so she used a key to enter the home and found her friend dead in her friend’s room. The female exited the house and called police.
Capt. Ryan Pedigo of Bloomington police said in a news release, “Evidence at the scene indicated that a 61 year-old man had shot and killed his 54 year-old wife, his 26 year-old daughter, and his 18 year-old son before shooting himself. The motive for the shootings is unknown and the investigation is ongoing.”
The names of the victims were being withheld pending family notifications. Autopsies were to be scheduled. Police say they don’t have a motive at this time. Police said they would not immediately provide additional information.
Neighbors reacted Sunday evening to the tragedy.
“I had to know,” Diana Easley said. “I’m 68 years old and I know that people die. I know that everything dies. But I don’t know anybody who ever got shot or shot anybody.”
Easley and Diane Leirer showed up to the house Sunday night and broke into tears. They say they worked at Monroe County Community Schools with the 54-year-old woman they identified as Greta. She was a woman who, they say, gave 200%.
“Greta was a sweetheart,” Easley said.
“She was very generous with her time and her money,” Leirer said. “She would spend money on kids in the classroom quite a bit. She was incredibly hard-working. Did a lot for her family. Kept everything going.”
The coworkers say Greta’s 18-year-old son was in his last year of high school and a great athlete. The 26-year-old daughter was visiting from New York in the middle of studying for her doctorate. They say even after visiting with the family recently, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
“We talked about children,” Leirer said. “We talked about her project that she’s doing at Clear Creek (Elementary) School. Yeah, that’s what we talked about.”
“She made me the note about going to my grandson’s soccer game and how fun and how cute the picture and…. People cannot be dead,” Easley said.
Greta’s coworkers say the 61-year-old man was struggling with a physical illness, but nobody saw this coming.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
- Text IN To 741741 for suicide prevention help
- Teen Suicide Hotline: 800-784-2433
“All of Bloomington mourns today, after we lost a family in an apparent triple homicide and suicide. My wife Dawn and I are heartbroken and extend our sympathy to the relatives, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and classmates of the family we have lost. The tragic loss of these four fellow Bloomingtonians comes as a horrible shock during an already challenging year when family or private struggles may remain even harder to see than usual. It reminds us how important it is to take care of each other — to offer a helping hand, a listening ear, or a sturdy shoulder to family, friends, or neighbors. It reminds us how much we share in common and how fragile life can be. It reminds us that if any of us is having a rough time, facing overwhelming challenges, or feeling unable to cope, there are places to get help and support. Reach out to friends, professionals, or social service agencies, for example at Helping Bloomington Monroe, where you can find many options for counseling, financial assistance, and many other services. If you are or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately. In this devastating moment, let Bloomington come together as one family, and remember we are here to take care of one another.”John Hamilton, mayor of Bloomington