5 Dead after Murder-Suicide in Culpeper
Police say a family of five, including three children, was found shot to death at a home in Culpeper County.
Inside a home off Rixeyville Road, a grandmother discovered the bodies of her three granddaughters, their mother and their father all shot to death in a murder-suicide Sunday night.
Culpeper sheriff’s deputies got the call to the home around 10 p.m. Sunday. They found the bodies of 35-year-old Shauna Washington and her three daughters, ages 4, 6, and 13. They were shot to death. Culpeper Sheriff Scott Jenkins says 35-year-old Clarence Washington killed his family before turning the gun on himself.
“Shauna's gone. Three beautiful babies gone,” said Nicole Minor-Melvin, Shauna’s cousin.
Shauna Washington’s relatives may never know what caused Clarence to shoot and kill his wife and three little girls.
Relatives last heard from the Washingtons Saturday evening. They called the Culpeper County Sheriff's Office to check on the family Sunday after they didn't show up at church.
“The residence was found to be secured and it appeared everything was OK. There was no probable cause to make a forced entry by the officers,” said Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins.
The girls' grandmother went to the home later Sunday night and discovered the bodies inside.
“The Washingtons had experienced some domestic issues recently that have been discovered through our investigation,” said Jenkins.
Family members say they never suspected Clarence capable of such a horrific act. He was a custodian at the nearby Sycamore Park Elementary School.
“We will be here to support the extended family members as we learn more about what they're going to need from us,” said Bobbi Johnson, Culpeper County Schools superintendent.
Thirteen-year-old Omesha moved on from Sycamore Park Elementary to middle school, 6-year-old Onya would have started first grade this month, and 4-year-old Olivia was preparing for preschool.
Now, Shauna Washington's mother is burdened with funeral plans for an entire family.
“Her mom has to bury not yet another daughter but three granddaughters,” said Minor-Melvin.
Johnson says counselors will work with teachers when they return from summer vacation next week. They'll develop a plan to help the classmates of the Washington girls when school starts in two weeks.
Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office Press Release
Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a multiple homicide reported last night in Culpeper County after family members discovered the deceased family of five located inside their home off Rixeyville Road.
At about 10:00 pm Sunday, August 3, 2014, Sheriff units were dispatched to 14458 Rixeyville Road for a possible death scene. Deputies arrived and found two adults, both age 35, and three juveniles dead. All five suffered gunshot wounds.
Sheriff units remain on scene at this time, and are being assisted by the Virginia State Police collecting evidence.