ABINGTON, MASS. (WHDH) - A 7NEWS source says authorities are investigating the deaths of two parents and three children found fatally shot inside a condo in Abington on Monday morning as a murder-suicide.
Officers responding to a report of a medical emergency at 135 Centre Ave. around 7:30 a.m. found three children and two adults dead from gunshot wounds, according to Plymouth District Attorney Timothy Cruz.
Cruz identified the victims as 40-year-old Deirdre Zaccardi, 43-year-old Joseph Zaccardi, 9-year-old twins Nathaniel and Kathryn, and 11-year-old Alexis.
“This is a horrible, horrible event here for the town of Abington and for the children in the schools that reside here,” Cruz said during a press conference.
Cruz says the gruesome discovery was made by another family member who showed up at the home to pick up one of the children for school.
One of the adult victims was found downstairs on a sofa bleeding from a gunshot wound, according to Cruz. He did not share details on the other four victims.
“That is the most disturbing part of the whole thing,” neighbor Heather McNulty said. “Whatever it was, I just don’t know why the children had to… why that had to happen to them. It’s just sad.”
McNulty said she and her fiance heard four loud bangs around 1 a.m. They both rushed downstairs to investigate the commotion.
“I ended up opening the door,” she said. “We saw our dumpster, the door swinging, so we thought it was maybe just that with the banging on the dumpster. Obviously, that was not what it was.”
Others who knew the family said they were stunned to hear the news.
In a statement, Abington Superintendent Peter Schafer said, “We are heartbroken to share with you that the Zaccardi family, an Abington family, died unexpectedly last night. There are three young students of this family in our district. At this time, we do not have any other details about what happened. This was an unexpected event, which deeply saddens all of us. This is a tragedy that will affect the entire Abington community. Counseling staff has been made available to support students.”
Abington Town Manager Richard Lafond reiterated that the deaths are tragic.
“As the DA said, this is a crime as well as a tragedy,” Lafond said in a statement. “We are very grateful to our first responders, police, and fire, as well as our school administration who are trying to deal effectively with parents and students. It’s a real community effort dealing with this matter.”
Family members released a statement on behalf of the victims, asking for privacy as they grieve the “unfathomable loss.”
“Today our family has suffered an unfathomable loss,” the statement said. “As we attempt to make sense of the enormity of this event, we respectfully ask that the media respect our family’s wishes to be left alone as we grieve our tremendous losses in private.”
Authorities said the incident is an isolated situation and that there is no threat to the public.
Grief counselors have been made available throughout the school district.
State troopers assigned to Cruz’s office are assisting Abington police with the investigation.
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