GRAHAM, Wash., April 5 (UPI) -- A disintegrating marriage led a Washington state man to kill the couple's five children and then himself, police theorize.
Pierce County Sheriff's Department spokesman Ed Troyer said Sunday it appeared James Harrison, 34, shot his children, ages 7-16, at their Graham-area home early Saturday, just hours after learning his wife was leaving him for another man, The News Tribune in Tacoma reported. Harris's body was found later Saturday in a sport utility vehicle near a convenience store where he had had a confrontation with his wife Friday night.
"This is our theory of what happened," Troyer said. "We're still working to lock down everybody's account of what happened and when."
Harris, who was believed to have been a security guard at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, apparently used a rifle to kill himself.
Four of the children's bodies were in their beds and the fifth was in the bathroom of the family's mobile home. The oldest child, a daughter was 16 and the youngest, the only boy, 7.
Troyer described the mother, who allegedly had told Harris she was not returning home and was leaving him for a boyfriend, as "very traumatized."
"You kind of get hardened to seeing people who are killed because of their own bad actions," said Troyer. "But these kids died through no fault of their own. This is something you never want to see."
Officials had not released the names of the victims.
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