Woman, Man Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide in Oxford, But Children Escape, DA Says

A 13-year-old boy grabbed a 4-year-old in his arms, opened the window and escaped to safety at a neighbor's house, the Worcester County district attorney said

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Two people are dead in what appears to be a case of domestic violence at a home in Oxford, Massachusetts, but three children survived, officials said Tuesday.

A teenager in the home rescued one of the children, Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early. Jr. said. The third child was rescued by a police officer.

"This appears to be a tragic case of domestic violence within the house," Early said at a news conference late Tuesday night.

Oxford police received a 911 call from a woman who lives at the Old Webster Road home around 5:20 p.m., Early said. During that phone call, the department received a second 911 call from a man who lives at the same home. His call was rerouted to state police because dispatchers were on the phone with the woman.

Early said he wasn't exactly sure what was said on the 911 calls, but Oxford and Charlton police went to the home and found the woman dead in the kitchen of an apparent gunshot wound. Behind the house, they found the man dead, also of an apparent gunshot wound.

Paramedics were called and tried to revive both, but the measures were quickly stopped because it was very apparent they were dead, Early said. Officials did not release their names.

According to Early, there were three children at the home when the incident unfolded -- ages 13, 4 and 3. The teen grabbed the 4-year-old in his arms, opened the window and escaped to safety at the home of a neighbor, who then called 911.

"The 13-year-old is a pretty courageous young kid," the district attorney said.

When Oxford police went inside the home, there was a 3-year-old child still inside. That child was rescued and brought to safety, according to Early.

He said the couple had two children together, and one is from a previous marriage.

While it is early in the investigation, the district attorney said, it appears the man killed the woman and then killed himself, and the deaths are being investigated as a murder-suicide.

A firearm was recovered at the scene, Early said. Both residents of the home were licensed to have a firearm.

The district attorney said the man and woman were dating, not married. Officials are investigating whether or not police had previously responded to the home and if any of those incidents were related to domestic violence.

The children were taken to a police station Tuesday night where they were being given trauma-related services, Early said. The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families was called.

Officials assured area residents that this was an isolated incident, not a random act.

Neighbor Jeff Emco tells NBC10 Boston he's only worried about the kids.

"I don't know how old the other ones are, if they'll comprehend what went on, but it's really sad," he said.

An investigation is ongoing.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HELP: Massachusetts provides this list of national, statewide and local resources for victims of domestic violence. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233. Anyone who is in immediate danger or knows someone who is is urged to call 911.

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