Father shoots and kills 10-year-old twins before taking his own life in apparent murder-suicide
A father fatally shot his twin 10-year-old children with a shotgun and then turned the gun on himself in a murder-suicide Monday in West Rogers Park on the North Side.
On Monday, a Chicago-based man fatally shot his twin 10-year-old children before killing himself in an apparent murder-suicide, law enforcement authorities reported.
According to local TV stations like the Chicago Sun-Times and WBBM, Derrick Sanders, 45, was found by the police lying dead in the hallway of his West Rogers Park apartment on Monday morning. He had turned a shotgun to his face and killed himself.
Upon entering his residence, authorities found the lifeless bodies of his son and daughter, who were later identified as Addison and Mason Sanders, per the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. Both children had sustained fatal wounds in the back of their heads.
Confirming the “senseless” killings in a brief statement on Twitter, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi wrote: “Our condolences go out to the family affected by the senseless murder-suicide. A father, cowardly took the life of his two 10-year-old children before turning the gun on himself. The offender had no previous history with the Chicago Police Department.”
Our condolences go out to the family affected by the senseless murder suicide at 6200 N. Richmond. A father, cowardly took the life of his two 10 year old children before turning the gun on himself. The offender had no previous history with the Chicago Police Department. pic.twitter.com/xHiUXJm5jA— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) August 27, 2018
Leslie Lawrence, a resident of the neighborhood who lives below Sanders' apartment, spoke to the Sun-Times, saying, “[I heard] three loud bangs, long pauses in between. Woke me up at the first shot at 5:15 a.m. I felt vibrations all up and through my bed, and I was in the top bunk."
According to her, Sanders seemed to suffer from some form of depression, but she never suspected he would ever harm his children. “I saw it in his face and his tone, so, me being friendly, I’d try to give him a couple of words, crack a joke,” Lawrence said.
Brenda Adams, another neighbor of Sanders, described both Addison and Mason as “happy, well-behaved children.” “I don’t know why he did this,” she told the paper. “I know he had some issues… but he loved his kids, it makes no sense.”
According to the Sun-Times, the twins were either seen playing outside together or going to a ball game unless they were living with their mother, who reportedly shared joint custody of them with Sanders. Due to the arrangement, the twins would come to stay with their father every other weekend.
"My question is if it was something I could've done, prayed for him or prayed with him," said neighbor Annette Wynn.
"I'm shocked. I'm petrified. It's just so unbelievable because I just saw the little girl Saturday night, and she was running, and she had beautiful blond hair, and I just looked at her, and I was saying how gorgeous she is," said Wynn, who also lives below the Sanders apartment and heard the shots.
Another neighbor, Lulia Oarca, said: “I’ve heard about robberies, but never anything that bad. I can’t believe this happened here.” As the police continue to investigate, a motive behind the shootings is yet to be established.