DEFIANCE COUNTY, Ohio (WANE) – Four members of one family are dead after what police say was a murder-suicide. We first told you about the tragedy Thursday night on Nightcast at 11. Police are now beginning to release more details about how everything unfolded.
Police believe Robert Garza Senior shot and killed his wife, one of his daughters, and his granddaughter inside their home. A tragedy fortunately the small town of Defiance has never had to deal with before.
“We don’t see four deaths like this. I don’t ever remember it in the 40 years that I’ve been around,” Defiance County Sheriff David Westrick said.
Just before 8 p.m. Thursday, police found Robert Garza Sr., his wife Christine, daughter Zoila, and granddaughter Rebecca all dead in their home on Bowman Road just south of Defiance. A family member who went to check on the family found them shot to death and called police.
“Robert Garza’s believed to be the perpetrator. He took the life of the three members of his family and then took his own life.”
A possible motive behind all of this: Garza Senior’s health.
“The Dad had some health issues and I don’t want to go any farther than that. But, that very well could have played a role in this.”
Neighbors in the rural area say they didn’t know the family, but had seen them out and about.
“I didn’t know them. I would just see the Dad out in the Summer mowing the grass. That’s about the extent of it,” one neighbor told NewsChannel 15.
The Sheriff of Defiance County said the Garza’s had never had any serious run-ins with police. And although police don’t have all of the answers, they’re thoughts are with the rest of the Garza family.
“These are always hard to understand.”
All four had been shot with a handgun and investigators did find a gun they believe was used in the shootings. Autopsy results are pending.