UK & World News

  • 4 August 2014, 21:40

Family Of Five Found Shot Dead In Virginia Home

A family of five has been found shot to death in an apparent murder-suicide, police say.

The bodies of two adults and three children were discovered in their home in Culpeper, Virginia, about 70 miles (113km) southwest of Washington DC.

Investigators are focusing on the father, 35-year-old Clarence Washington, as the possible shooter.

Mr Washington's wife Shauna Washington, also 35, and the couple's three children; Onesha, 13, Onya, six, and Olivia, four, were also killed. 

Deputies responded to the home around 10pm on Sunday after a relative found the bodies.

Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins said as recently as Saturday there was a "domestic issue" at the home, but friends said Mrs Washington did not call police.

It "got heated", the sheriff said, declining to elaborate.

A neighbour who attended a Fourth of July party at the Washingtons' home told the AP news agency that he saw no signs of family trouble.

"He's just a really quiet dude," Reggie Massie said of the father.

Mr Washington had worked for almost six years as a custodian at the elementary school that Onya attended.

The school district's superintendent Bobbi Johnson said: "He was very unassuming and gentle."

Culpeper, home to about 15,000 people, is known for its quaint downtown and Civil War history.

The town's mayor, Michael Olinger, said the community was in "shock".