A 32-year-old father took the lives of his two young daughters before he shot himself in their apartment in Ohio.
Aaron D. Williams shot his children, Ava, 9, and Alyse, 6, in their flat on the city’s Far West Side.
Police officers rushed to the scene at around 10:22 pm after concerned neighbors made a report.
Ava and Alyse were rushed to OhioHealth Doctors Hospital but both of them died after midnight. Their father was pronounced dead at 11:32 pm.
Erica Osborn, a friend of the family, said: “The girls, they were just so bright and full of energy.
“Every time I knocked on the door to drop a meal off or pick one up, they would come running. The first thing they tell you is that they love you. I just cannot believe they’re gone.”
Osborn added: “They were part of a loving family, and this was very unexpected. From every angle we could tell, their father loved them. I just can’t imagine. I don’t know how he did it. I don’t know how he was able to do this to them.
“To lose everybody in one night… I can’t believe it.”
Columbus police Chief Thomas Quinlan also said in a statement: “Our hearts break for their devastated mother, and all who loved them.”
He added: “Behind every badge is a human — a mother, father, sister or brother. And while we have a job to do — a job we signed up for — we hurt too. We grieve with these families.”
Quinlad said he is working to make sure the cops who rushed to the scene also have the support they need.
According to reports, Williams had faced previous domestic violence charges. In 2018, he had been charged by Columbus police with intent to assault and harm to which he pleaded guilty.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the children’s mother, Vanecia, Shameer Kirkland, pay for her daughter’s funeral expenses.
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