The Christmas holiday has been marred by violence in a northern Wisconsin community. The Ashland Daily Press reports that a family member paying a visit to a home on Christmas Eve day discovered what Ashland Police Department Captain Jim Gregoire said is an apparent double murder and suicide. The bodies of an adult man and two adult women were found in a residence on Willis Avenue, just east of downtown Ashland, shortly after noon on Thursday.
Gregoire said officers made a tactical response to the scene after receiving a report that someone had been shot, but found that there was no one in the house that was alive. “The male was found on a couch in the residence,” Gregoire told the Daily Press. “There was also an older female with a gunshot wound and a 23-year-old female with a gunshot wound. It appears that it was a double murder and suicide.” Gregoire said officers found the gun believed to have been used, next to the dead man.
The triple slaying stunned even experienced officers in the city of 8,000 on the shores of Lake Superior. “My condolences go out to all of the victims and their families. This is just a horrendous thing to have happened at this time of the year,” Gregoire said.
Notifying family members could take several days. Gregoire told the newspaper that one of the victims is from outside the U.S., meaning investigators will have to work with federal agencies, which are all closed for the next several days. He said there was no indication of what could have led up to the shootings, and the department had no previous trouble associated with the address.