John Lunetta is accused of shooting his girlfriend, infant son, and family dog, before turning the gun on himself. Authorities, who found the family deceased in their Las Vegas home on Monday night, called the incident a murder-suicide. It left neighbors shocked that the tragic incident would happen to a seemingly normal couple.
The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that Karen Jackson, 34, the suspect’s girlfriend, had planned to leave Lunetta, a medical director at the American Red Cross. According to Jackson’s mother, Patricia McMullen, her daughter told her just a few days prior to the murders that she was packing up to leave. Neighbors also said they saw a moving van in the family’s driveway over the weekend. McMullen, who lives in Florida, said she hadn’t physically seen her daughter in around four years, but they kept in touch via Facebook, where she learned Jackson planned to leave Lunetta.
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“My daughter was a wonderful human being, she was a go-getter,” McMullen told the Las Vegas Review Journal. “She had dreams in her life and she accomplished her dreams.”
Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Larry Hadfield said that Jackson died from numerous gunshot wounds to her head, while her son, 12-month-old John Lunetta Jr., died from a single gunshot wound to his head. Hadfield also said that officers went to the couple’s house in December 2016, over a custody dispute battle.
Samira Knight, a lawyer and friend of Lunetta’s, said Lunetta was extremely close to his son and “lived for his kid.” While she’s unsure why Lunetta killed his family, she assumed Lunetta may have “lost it” once he realized Jackson was actually moving and taking the baby with her.
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“The only thing I can even contemplate happening is that she was going to take the kid and he lost it.”
Knight said that Lunetta likely had PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) from his time spent in the military. She also said he had a “difficult upbringing” and had a hard time expressing his emotions. She said she never heard of him ever abusing Jackson and knew nothing about any instances of where he lost his temper.
“I’m still in complete shock.”
Yet, the CEO of the domestic violence prevention group Safe Nest, Liz Ortenburger, said that although she wasn’t too familiar with the case, she saw patterns of control that she’s seen in numerous other previous domestic abuse cases.
If you or anyone you know is an abusive relationship, the first recommended step is to call a crisis hotline, where a counselor can help with emergency housing arrangements. Safe Nest can be reached at 702-646-4981 or at its housing crisis hotline at 702-564-3227.
[Feature Photo: Facebook]