A father-of-five allegedly shot dead his wife and three daughters in a small community near Chicago on Sunday, in what a 911 dispatcher described as a 'massacre.' A man contacted the police about an incident at the home in Tinley Park a little after 11:30 am. The victims were declared dead at the scene by the Cook County medical examiner's office at 11:36 am.
It was later revealed by the police that the man who called the 911 dispatcher was the father himself. The victims were identified as Majeda Kassem, 53, and her three daughters, including twins Halema and Zahia, both 25, along with their younger sibling Hanan Kassem, 24.
Killed His Own Family
"A male subject said his wife was shot. The line disconnected. He wasn't really cooperative," the dispatcher initially said. The same dispatcher described the incident as "a massacre" and requested additional emergency units to be dispatched to the location.
The Tinley Park Public Safety Department reported that a suspect was present at the house when the police arrived and was arrested in connection with the "domestic-related shooting."
A firearm was also recovered from the scene, as reported by the Chicago Tribune.
"The offender is in custody and scene is secure," a statement read soon after the man's arrest. "Due to ongoing investigation, we are asking residents to stay out of the area."
Neighbors expressed complete shock at the news, describing the affected family as "such a good family that had a bright future." Some of the children, including two adult sons, were said to have aspirations of becoming pharmacists or doctors.
"My daughter knows them. She went to school with the oldest son, and she employed the twin sisters. She always talked about how they were all very intelligent, and they had very high goals in life," Charlotte Vaitkus told ABC 7.
Police officers continued their investigation at the site of the shooting in a residential area of Tinley Park throughout Sunday afternoon. Village Manager Patt Carr assured that there was no threat to public safety in the aftermath of the shootings.
"This was isolated to the home. The scene is secure. There is only one suspect at this time," Carr told reporters.
"It's a tragedy. Not only for the family, but all the surrounding neighbors that are there."
The village, home to approximately 55,000 people, is located about 30 miles southwest of Chicago. The recent shootings mark the deadliest incident to have occurred in the area in almost two decades.