HERNDON, Va. (CBSDC) — The deaths of four family members in Herndon, Va. have been ruled a murder-suicide by police.
Fifty-seven-year-old Albert Peterson killed his wife, 52-year-old Kathleen, and two children, 16-year-old Matthew and 13-year-old Christopher before taking his own life, Fairfax County Police say.
Each victim was shot in the upper body.
Police first responded to the home, located in the 13300 block of Point Rider Lane, to perform a welfare check around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Neighbors and colleagues of the family told authorities they had not seen the children going to school or the parents going to work recently.
A neighbor of the family, Alvaro Lopes, says the father of the house suffered a heart attack several years ago. He believes the medication the man was taking changed his personality.
“He seemed dizzy… just different,” Lopes said. “Hearing about what happened today made me think that could have something to do with it.”
Lopes also claims the man’s father previously committed suicide.
The family recently completed building a deck and showed no outward signs of trouble.
“They were good people,” said Lopes. “Very quiet [and] would hang out in their front yard and do some barbecues.”
A candlelight vigil is being held for the family Wednesday evening at Floris United Methodist Church located at 13600 Frying Pan Road starting at 7:30 p.m.