In a case described as an apparent murder-suicide, a Missouri man killed his girlfriend and her son before turning the gun on himself at their home in the city of Bellefontaine Neighbors on Thursday, 22 February.
After a 911 call led them to the scene, the St Louis Dispatch officers also found a four-year-old girl pretending to be asleep, and the bodies of the girl's mother and her 15-year-old half-brother.
According to reports, the suspected caller was identified as Dornubari Dugbor, 31. His girlfriend Katrina Banks, 31, and her son Kevin Johnson, 15, had been shot to death by him, Fox2 reported.
According to Jeremy Ihler, the police chief of Bellefontaine Neighbors, after the girl had heard the first shot, she went into the living room to find her mother on the floor.
Apparently, Dugbor then told the girl to go back to her room, which she did. The child was not harmed in anyway but was still taken to the hospital for an evaluation.
"The girlfriend and boyfriend, they were recently engaged in January. We know they had some kind of relationship for the past four years because the four-year-old was a child in common," Ihler said, as per Fox2.
"She was close enough to the event where she heard the gunshots and heard other scuffles and talk during the event and [I] would imagine a four-year-old is going to be scared from this type of event. I feel for her greatly," he added.
According to the police, the family did not have any prior criminal records and their relatives said that there was no indication that something like this was set to happen.
Neighbour Miceala Redmond said to Fox2, "It's a shame. I just would not expect it right here and then being so close to my home."