CULPEPER, Va. (AP) — A family of five, including three children, was found shot to death inside their home in a quiet area of north-central Virginia, and authorities said Monday that they're investigating the case as a murder-suicide.
A family member discovered the bodies of the two adults, both 35, and three school-aged children Sunday night, Detective Angela Deavers with the Culpeper County Sheriff's Office said.
The shootings were apparently a murder-suicide, Deavers said. She said she did not have other details, and Virginia State Police would say only that it is assisting in the investigation.
The three-bedroom house sits on about an acre of land just outside the town limits of Culpeper, according to Culpeper County property records. Culpeper, a town of about 15,000 people is known for its quaint downtown and Civil War history.
"This is definitely a shock to the community, for sure," Culpeper Mayor Michael Olinger said. "Very seldom do we have a murder in Culpeper or any kind of activity such as this." He said he did not know the victims.
Reggie Massie lives two doors down from where the bodies were found and said he and his family attended a Fourth of July party there. Children in their cluster of homes often play together, Massie said.
"I never would have suspected this," he said. "Culpeper is the last place you'd imagine this. Everybody here is family."