Three people were found dead in an Alabama home Saturday morning in what investigators believe is a double murder-suicide, the Decatur Daily reports.
All three of the deceased are members of the same family. Austin Passwater said the deaths occurred at a residence several doors down from him.
“That’s the most shocking thing I’ve heard in almost my entire life,” Passwater told WAAY-TV. “What has happened is absolutely atrocious and it is no way acceptable in any type of civilized area.”
Passwater said one of the deceased was a close friend who worked on cars with him.
“It’s been a staple in my life since I can remember,” he added.
Police as well as paramedics and the county coroner were observed at the scene in the city of Athens, which is about 25 miles west of Huntsville. The Athens Police Department said preliminary investigation indicates two of the deaths were homicides while the third was a suicide.
Names and ages of the deceased have not yet been publicly released and the coroner removed the bodies from the home for further forensic examination. Passwater told the television station he couldn’t believe his friend died in the killings, calling him “the most friendly and personable individual you could ever want to meet.”
He added that the crime could have a lasting negative impact on the community.
“I feel like this isn’t one of those things that’s necessarily just going to blow over in a day or two,” Passwater said. “People are going to be talking about it for a slight little while.”
Another neighbor, Paul Smith, said he didn’t expect such a horrific thing to happen in his neighborhood.
“Kind of scares you a little bit,” Smith told WAAY-TV. “Makes you stop and think about who’s around you and what’s going on.”
Authorities say they aren’t looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.
To report information about the case, call Athens Police Sgt. Brett Constable at 256-233-8700.
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