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Sheriff: Virginia murder-suicide puts focus on father as shooter of family of 5

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The town of Culpeper, Virginia is still in shock over the shooting deaths of a family of five. These senseless murders have been deemed a murder-suicide with the police focusing on the father as the shooter, according to NBC Local News on Aug 4.

Clarence and Shauna Washington, who were both 35, and their three daughters were found shot to death in their home over the weekend. Their bodies were discovered by a family member on Sunday night.

The three Washington girls were identified as four-year-old Olivia, six-year-old Onya and 13-year-old Omesha. Culpeper Sheriff Scott Jenkins said the preliminary investigation has led police to classify these deaths as a “murder-suicide.”

Family and friends told police that the couple had been having on-going domestic dispute, but nobody thought it would ever end like this. Police report that they have not received any calls for help from the Washington family home.

The family didn’t attend church on Sunday, which was out of the ordinary for this family. Family members couldn’t get a hold of them all day Sunday, so Shauna’s mother and a cousin went to the house Sunday night and walked into the gruesome scene.

When Diane Minor, Shauna’s mother, got to the house, it was locked, so she forced her way into a window of the home. There she found the bodies of her daughter, three granddaughters and son-in-law in their home at 14458 Rixeyville Road, according to ABC Local News.

Police received a call at about 10 p.m. on Sunday to come out to the home where Minor and her relative had discovered the bodies. Police learned that Clarence owned four guns and while he doesn’t have a criminal history, family members claim they have no doubt that he is the person who shot the family.

Nicole Minor-Melvin, a cousin of Shauna, said that Shauna wanted out of their marriage, but Clarence wouldn’t hear of it. She never had an inkling that this would be the outcome. Melvin said that Shauna was like her sister, more so than a cousin. She said that not only was she her relative, but also her best friend.

Friends of Shauna’s said that Saturday the domestic issue that has been on-going between the couple “got heated,” but they would not divulge any details. Shauna never called the police in the past, she didn’t want to drag the police into the couple’s issues, said a friend.

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