City officials said that it is likely a man killed his wife and 12-year-old daughter in Mount Vernon on Sunday, April 5, in an apparent murder-suicide in their West Fourth Street home.
“Mount Vernon has experienced a heartbreaking tragedy this morning,” Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard said. “We are investigating a probable murder-suicide in which a man killed his wife and daughter and took his own life. This investigation is still in the early stages. Our prayers are with the family during this time.”
According to reports, a man who identified himself as the brother of the suspected shooter spoke with a neighbor who said she could be heard yelling and screaming before the murder-suicide, though it was unclear what was being said.
In her weekly “Sundays with Shawyn” program, Patterson-Howard said that the father - and alleged shooter - was “under major duress,” though no further details were released.
“This has definitely sent our community reeling,” she said. The city officials were notifying the relatives about the incident. The identities of the shooter, his wife and child were not revealed. It was, however, revealed that the daughter was a student of Mount Vernon public school.
On that same program, Mount Vernon Schools Superintendent Kenneth Hamilton said that the community was “devastated” by the daughter’s death.
“Under normal circumstances, this is a difficult thing to bear,” he said. “But on top of trying to get our students to cope with the effects of COVID-19 and their lives being disrupted and learning this new normal, and now to add this level of personal, intimate grief on top of that it’s not easy for our children.”
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