LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A community in Southwest Jefferson County has been hit by unthinkable tragedy.
Police are investigating after four people were found dead with apparent gunshots wounds inside a home in the Valley Station neighborhood Saturday morning.
Louisville Metro Police (LMPD) responded to East Pages Lane, just off Dixie Highway, on a report of a shooting. They're now calling this a domestic murder-suicide, saying everyone involved were from the same family.
Police believe the man, 60-year-old Gary Stanton, was the aggressor in this situation, shooting and killing a woman, 49-year-old Mary Stanton, and two girls, 17-year-old Adrianna Stanton and 11-year-old Brianna Stanton, inside the house. LMPD says after that, Gary took his own life.
According to the Jefferson County Coroner's Office, Mary and Adrianna were shot multiple times and Brianna was shot once.
Gary died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the Jefferson County Coroner's Office.
"Many of our officers are fathers and mothers as well. It's difficult to see anything like this," Major Micah Scheu said.
Details released are limited, including what triggered the outburst.
The news of these heartbreaking developments have traveled quickly in the neighborhood and to the churches along Pages Lane, including Life Church Louisville -- which is just across the street from the home police reported to.
Lead pastor Patrick Bissig says his congregation will be there for whoever needs support at service Sunday morning, and uplift the community the best they can.
"All we're going to do tomorrow is try to offer hope," he said. "Not only do we need to be a friend, but [also] a light to those folks."
Bissig says his church had interacted with the family multiple times before, but they were never close.
"We saw them on holidays: Christmas, New Year's, Easter," he said. "From the outside looking in, it looked like your traditional happy family."
Meanwhile, WHAS 11 also spoke to Elizabeth Wessels-Martin, who's the president and CEO of the Center for Women and Families. They specialize in addressing domestic violence, the cause of what Wessels-Martin says makes up 15 percent of homicides in Louisville.
"Absolute, incredible sadness that another preventable death has occurred," she said. "The majority of homicides that have occurred in Louisville [and] Jefferson County this year, we've never had contact -- which means they didn't reach out for help. They struggled in silence."
Wessels-Martin has seen enough in her line of work to understand when past incidents are likely to have happened, and what can be done to act upon them before they turn deadly.
"It's going to be even more painful to hear as the story unfolds, if we hear neighbors say, 'I thought something was going on, I wish I would have said, or I wish I would have done this or I wish I would have done that,'" she said. "That's one of the things we are trying to prevent. Don't wait, reach out."
If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, click here to find help.
This is an ongoing investigation.
If you are in crisis, please call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.
WHAS11 will update this story when we receive more information.
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