Doctor shoots and kills entire family, including dog, days before son’s first birthday

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A doctor killed his girlfriend, the family dog, and their toddler son on Monday, before turning shooting and killing himself, in what authorities are calling a gruesome murder-suicide.

Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Dr. John Lunetta was found deceased in his Las Vegas home off of the 10300 block of Numaga Road on Monday night, along with bodies of his girlfriend, Karen Jackson, 35, their son, John Jr., 12 months, and the family dog. Police received a welfare check call to the home from the family’s relatives at around 7:04 p.m.

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Authorities were expecting to help ease down a verbal altercation between Lunetta and his girlfriend. Reportedly, Lunetta had a string of women in and out of his home in the year prior to Jackson moving in with him, which may have caused tension in their relationship. Rumors surfaced shortly after the shootings that the doctor was also “controlling.” Further, witnesses said a moving truck was parked in the home’s driveway over the weekend, making them wonder if Jackson planned to move out, which triggered Lunetta to fly into a rage.

When police arrived, they discovered that the family had been dead for at least a day. They believe that Lunetta shot the others before turning a gun on himself. The little boy was just shy of turning a year old on Wednesday.

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Neighbors said that they never would have expected Lunetta to pull off something so heinous. Neighbors said that they had never saw or heard Lunetta arguing with Jackson before, much less witnessed any physical confrontations.

“It was very shocking to hear,” neighbor Michael Bernardo said. “I know he loved his baby. I know he loved his dog.”

Lunetta was a medical director at the American Blood Cross, and an Air Force veteran who legally owned a gun. Jackson had recently passed a nurse practitioner certification. She left behind a 10-year-old daughter who wasn’t home when the shootings occurred. The little girl is now with other family members.

The investigation is still ongoing. Anyone with any information is urged to call LVMPD Homicide Section at (702) 828-3521 or Crime Stoppers at (702) 385-5555.

[Feature Photo: Family Handout]