An Independence couple died after a double shooting in the Englewood area. The couple's 6-month-old was taken into state care.
Homicide detectives and police investigators in Independence are trying to determine if the death of a man and woman is a murder-suicide.
Police spokesperson Tom Gentry said police responded to the report of a double shooting about 3:45 Wednesday afternoon in the 1600 block of South Harvard Avenue in the Englewood district.
Timothy C. Owens, 24, and Jarah E. Snelling, 18, were both shot, but Gentry declined to elaborate on the circumstances behind their deaths. He did say that Snelling died on the scene, and Owens died at an area hospital and both of the deceased’s next of kin had been notified.
The couple’s baby boy was placed in state care, Gentry said.
A neighbor of the couple said when she got home from work police had cordoned off the house, which apparently belonged to the male victim. The neighbor, who didn’t want to be identified, said she was “roughed up” by officers when she breached the crime scene tape, but officers subsequently let her hold the couple’s nearly six-month old-child until Division of Family Services investigators reached the scene. The neighbor said she was in total disbelief about the crime, which is being investigated as a possible murder-suicide.
“He shot her, then he shot himself,” the neighbor said, adding the couple were not married, and had recently broken up. “It was very shocking. I didn’t think that would ever happen (with them). This is very, very tough.”
Chris Hollister of Independence said he was a cousin of the male victim. Hollister said the man was going through a tough stretch in his life with the loss of employment and the break-up of their relationship, but never once thought the situation would end they way it apparently did.
“This has just torn me up,” Hollister said, adding he is also a distant relative of the deceased woman. “It’s a bad situation all the way around. I’m thinking about that little kid. She’s gone, he’s gone and nobody is there for (the infant boy).”
Hollister said he thought his cousin may have snapped in the throes of his situation.
“I think everything just got to him,” Hollister said, “because that is not (him).”