A Massachusetts father who had recently been denied a gun license shot and killed his 6-year-old son and tried to set his child's home on fire before taking his own life, authorities said Friday.
Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey said Foxborough police received a 911 call around 11:30 p.m. Thursday for a medical emergency at a home on East Street. Responders found 6-year-old Anthony Scaccia upstairs in the home with a single gunshot wound. He was taken to Norwood Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Police also found 49-year-old William Scaccia Jr. dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. A gun, shell casings and a note believed to have been written by the father were also found in the home.
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William Scaccia also intentionally set a fire in the home, police said, but it was extinguished by a neighbor before emergency crews got to the scene.
Foxborough police said they had had a "significant history" with the father, who was not living at the home where the murder-suicide happened, and that history resulted in them denying him a gun permit in July.
He was facing pending charges stemming from a Sept. 16 domestic incident, Foxborough Police Chief William Baker said.
"I would like to say the most critical part of this story in my opinion is the loss of this innocent life of this child," Baker said. He encouraged anyone who is struggling with challenges to reach out to others who can help.
Counselors will be made available at the school where Anthony Scaccia was a kindergartener, according to Foxborough Schools Superintendent Debbie Spinelli.
"Our hearts go out to this sweet little boy who was just starting his educational journey and to those who loved and cared for him," Spinelli said in a statement.
A next-door neighbor told NBC Boston that the boy's grandmother came over to his home in a panic on Thursday night, and when he went to the house, he found the young boy dead upstairs.
The neighbor said they tried to revive the child, but he was gone. His father was found dead as well.
The boy lived at the East Street home with his grandmother and mother, who the neighbor said was working overnight. The boy's father did not live there, but the neighbor said he had come over and was arguing about custody, which is when things turned tragic.
SUICIDE PREVENTION HELP: The National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255) is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.