An Illinois mother and her two children are dead in what police are investigating as a murder-suicide carried out by the children’s father.
Will County coroner Patrick O’Neil confirmed the identities of the victims, and said all four died “in what appears to be a domestic incident,” according to a news release.
Dead are 28-year-old Jacquelon Gaskin, her 6-year-old daughter Gianna Lee, 1-year-old son Giovanni Lee, and 34-year-old Brandyn Lee, who relatives and neighbors of the deceased woman identified as her longtime boyfriend and the father of the two kids, reports TV stations WLSthis link opens in a new tab and WBBMthis link opens in a new tab.
Gaskin’s mother, Rusha Brooks, said the couple who shared a two-story home with the children in Joliet were growing apart, and her daughter wanted out of the relationship.
“He was like a controlling type of guy, and I think she was trying to break away from that, and I think that was the trigger, because otherwise why would you?,” she told reporters, according to WBBM. “That was his last bit of control, was to take everybody away, not just himself.”
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She said her daughter “was loved, and she is loved, by a lot of people, and he just didn’t disrupt his life, he disrupted a lot of lives.”
According to multiple reports, police said they responded to a report of shots fired inside of the couple’s home just after 10 p.m. Wednesday. Neighbors reported a woman’s screams after she apparently discovered the bodies.
All four victims were on the second floor, police said.
Authorities have not officially identified the shooter, but law enforcement sources told WBBM the investigation likely will show Brandyn Lee shot himself after first shooting his girlfriend and their two children.
Autopsies for the victims were scheduled for Friday.
Gaskin was studying to become a nurse, family members told WBBM.
“Jesus and God are going to handle all of this,” said Terrance Brooks, Gaskin’s stepfather, reports WLS. “My grandchildren and my daughter are going to heaven.”