Dad sets car on fire, shoots two young daughters and himself in apparent murder-suicide

An Oregon community has been shaken by the unthinkable deaths of two young girls, killed by their own father before he turned a gun on himself.

According to CBS News, James Cortinas drove off with his two daughters, ages 8 and 11, on Wednesday in Portland. His wife made a frantic call to police saying that she believed her husband was suicidal and the two girls were in danger.

Officers reportedly located the man and his daughters a short time later, as they were parked in his Land Rover SUV at a gas station. After a brief standoff with police, Cortinas set the car on fire. He shot the little girls and then turned the gun on himself, killing all three of them.

Police reportedly broke the rear window of the car to try and rescue the girls, but they had already died. They have since been identified as Janet Cortinas-Duran, 8, and Jasmine Duran-Cortinas, 11.

Gresham police Sgt. John Rasmussen told CBS News that officers had shot at Mr. Cortinas, but none of their bullets hit the children. The shots fired by Cortinas killed all three of them, and the father reportedly shot his girls multiple times. According to Inside Edition, officers found a .32 caliber handgun in the SUV.

Neighbors have placed candles and toys outside the family’s apartment complex in memory of the little girls, and a GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help with funeral costs.

A neighbor told CBS News he was shocked by the tragedy.

“There wasn’t anything abnormal and they seemed happy,” Robert Forthan said.


Photo: GoFundMe