BRNO, Czech Republic (AP) — An American man is suspected of killing a family of four and is on the run in the Czech Republic and likely armed, officials said Thursday.
The bodies of the four victims — identified by neighbors as a married couple and their two sons — were found by firefighters who came tackle a fire in a house in Brno, the country's second-largest city.
Firefighters spokesman Jaroslav Mikoska said rescuers immediately realized that "a violent crime had likely been committed there." The fire did not badly damage the house.
Brno Police spokeswoman Petra Vedrova identified the suspect as Kevin Dahlgren, born in 1992, and released his photograph. A Facebook page showing the same photograph says that Dahlgren is from Palo Alto, California, and lives in Brno.
Vedrova said that all four victims were related. A Czech public television reported that Dahlgren was the nephew of the parents. Police did not immediately confirm that relationship.
A local band, Ukulele Orchestra jako Brno, confirmed to The Associated Press that two of its members were among the victims, but declined to comment further. Dahlgren's Facebook page contained a link to the band.
Vedrova and neighbors said Dahlgren had only been in Brno for a few weeks.
"As far as we know he came for a visit," neighbor Ivana Pohankova told the AP.
"Such a tragedy, they were so young," Pohankova said. She said one son was 24 and the other was a teenager under 18.
"We didn't hear anything but a neighbor came to say there was a smoke coming from the house. That's how they discovered it."
Police asked the public for help finding Dahlgren, but warned that he might be dangerous and likely has a gun. They did not immediately release any other details about the suspect or about the killings.
Another neighbor told the Czech public broadcaster he met Dahlgren two days ago and he invited him for a beer.
"He looked absolutely fine and kept smiling," Jan Fiala said. "He said he didn't like the western world, that life in America is too fast while people here are more placid."
Brno is located 200 kilometers (125 miles) southeast of Prague. Police say they cooperated with international law enforcement agencies to confirm the suspect's identity.
Janicek reported from Prague.