The fatal shooting of a family of four and their dogs at a home in a Chicago suburb was not a murder-suicide but also not a “random” incident, according to police.
Two adults, two children and their three dogs were found dead from gunshot wounds at the home in Romeoville, Illinois, on Sunday night; police now believe the murders could have been targeted.
Investigators do not believe that the deaths were the result of a murder-suicide, Deputy Chief Chris Burne of the Romeoville Police Department told reporters.
No arrests have been made in the case, but officials say that there is no reason for people to shelter inside in the wake of the shocking incident.
“We were able to determine this was not a random incident and there was no cause for a shelter in place order,” DC Burne said on Tuesday. ”This incident is the police department’s top priority.”
The victims were Alberto Rolon, 38, and Zoraida Bartolomei, 32, and their two boys, aged seven and nine, according to the Will County Coroner’s Office.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by Ms Bartolomei’s sister, Bryana Bartolomei to raise money for funeral expenses for the whole family.
“These were hardworking people that had just bought their first home. Their kids were the sweetest most innocent angels who could hug your worries away,” the fundraising page stated.
Her sister took to Facebook to share an image of the family, captioning it, “I want to know what happened to my nephews, my sister, her husband and WHY?”
Police believe that the shooting took plea between 9pm and 5am on Sunday. Officers went to the home to perform a wellness check when one of the victims did not show up for work on Sunday and did not answer phone calls.
“All officers and professional staff have been working tirelessly on this case. Our detectives and crime scene investigators have spent the last 36 hours collecting a tremendous amount of physical evidence,” added DC Burne.
“I want to know what’s going on, man. It’s very, very quiet. It’s incredibly quiet,” neighbour Dan Lugo, told WBBM. “This stuff doesn’t happen here. It’s very unnerving. I’m pretty sure the whole neighbourhood is shook up.”
“Our entire community is grieving with the family over this tragic incident,” Romeoville Mayor John Noak said.
“I have directed our social services staff to make themselves available to our community to help begin the healing process.”
The Romeoville Police Department is still investigating the incident, says the coroner’s office.