A father returned to his home in a New Orleans suburb Tuesday evening to find his wife and three children shot dead, Kenner police told Fox News.
The bodies of Nadia Braxton and her children, Kayla Peters, 12; Nayax Peters, 1 1/2, and Nyla Peters, 6 months, were on one bed. The children's were lengthwise, Braxton's across theirs, and a gun was at the foot of the bed, Kenner Police Chief Steve Caraway said. Unless an autopsy changes the evidence, it looks as though the case is a murder-suicide, said police spokesman Lt. Wayne McInnis.
Caraway told WWLTV that the father came home from work and called out for his children, but didn't hear anything. He then called police at about 5 p.m., saying he had found the bodies. He was being questioned in an ongoing investigation.
Caraway said the two younger children and the mother all were shot in the forehead. The police chief added that the father's last name is Peters; he did not know the first. An online phone directory lists Ronald J. Peters at that address.
Seven family members huddled, crying, in the street as the bodies were brought out.
"They were loved. They were so loved," said one, who would identify herself only as an aunt. She was weeping so hard she could hardly talk.
Police said they had no record of any calls or disturbances at the neatly kept two-story brick and white weatherboard house with red shutters.
Neighbor Maureen Callero said the family had lived there more than five years and the father worked in construction and had a part-time job.
Neighbors said they only learned something was wrong when police cars pulled up Tuesday. They didn't know the family, but said they were always polite.
"They kept to themselves. We never heard from them, let alone had any trouble with them. They're the kind of people you'd be glad to have for a neighbor," said George Windstein, who has lived for 40 years one house away from the Peters'.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.