Hartland tragedy: Connor McKisick fatally shot four children, wife before setting house on fire
HARTLAND, WISCONSIN: In a horrifying family tragedy, four siblings and their mother were fatally shot inside their apartment by their stepfather, before he set the house on fire and turned the gun on himself. Connor McKisick, with whom they shared a residence, shot and killed his wife Jessica, 33, stepdaughters Sofina and Natalie Kleemeir, 12 and 14, as well as his two sons, both three years of age, as per the The Daily Mail report.
Hartland Police Chief Torin Misko reportedly stated that McKisick, the boys' father, and the girls' stepfather, had sustained self-inflicted gunshot wounds. Their bodies were found on Friday, October 21, after firefighters rushed to the couple's blazing apartment on Mansfield Court in Hartland around 5.15 am. The other tenants in the four-unit building got out safely.
Misko said on Monday, October 25, that each victim had sustained one gunshot wound. In the apartment, where several guns were discovered, he added, there were signs of an ignitable liquid.
"This is a tragic incident for the family of the deceased, our first responders, and the Hartland community," Misko said. He described the family as "blended" and said it was a "step-family-type situation." "The deaths remain an active investigation as police confirm whether the family died in the fire or from the gunshots. We ask that the community respect the privacy of the families,” Misko reportedly added.
The blaze was reported at 5.11 am on Friday at the four-family apartment building. At least 15 fire departments and nine police departments reported to the scene, according to CBS 58.
She was a "caring person" who "always had a good-hearted personality for everyone," according to a statement from Natalie's high school, Arrowhead High School. Samantha Maass, Natalie and Sofina's relative, created a GoFundMe to raise money for the girls' funeral expenses. She wrote on the page, "While my cousin Kyle mourns the loss of his children, I want to help raise money for the girl's funeral. Anything will help, no matter how small or big your donation is." Kyle Kleemeir is Natalie and Sofina's biological father.
"We are extremely heartbroken over what happened to our family, losing Jessica, our nieces and nephews so suddenly," wrote Mel Blakeway, Jessica's niece, in the GoFundMe she made for the mother of four. "I have been trying to find the words to describe how in disbelief we are that my aunt Jessica and her children were violently taken away from us," Blakeaway wrote on Facebook.
Additionally, Natalie's friends shared a GoFundMe. Gabrielle Slowinski described her friend as "always kind, funny, and smart." "She was a freshman in high school and she had a very bright future ahead of her. She talked fondly of her family and loved them so much. She would always send me pictures/videos of her siblings showing me how cute they were," she said, according to The Daily Mail.
Cayla Anderson, a heartbroken former classmate of Jessica's wrote on Facebook, "Her and I went to St Paul's together since we were little up until 8th grade...I am so sad you and your beautiful babies are gone, but I know you are all in heaven together. Rest easy."