The home where the bodies of five children were discovered on Saturday is shown Sunday, April 5, 2009, at a trailer park near near Graham, Wash. Pierce County Sheriff's officials said they believe the children's father killed the children before committing suicide. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
A message is shown in a notebook at a memorial Sunday, April 5, 2009, in front of a home where five children were discovered killed on Saturday, at a trailer park near near Graham, Wash. Pierce County Sheriff's officials said they believe the children's father killed the children before committing suicide. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Police Believe Man Killed 5 Kids Due to Marital Dispute
Sunday, April 05, 2009 /ASSOCIATED PRESS
GRAHAM, Wash. — Investigators believe a man fatally shot his five children in their home and killed himself after he found out his wife was leaving him for another man, a sheriff's spokesman said Sunday.
The bodies of James Harrison's children were found Saturday in the family's mobile home in Graham, about 15 southeast of Tacoma. Harrison had been found earlier in the day, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot, behind the wheel of his car in Auburn, about 18 miles north of Graham.
Authorities haven't released the family's name, but relatives have identified them as the Harrisons.
The man and his 16-year-old daughter had found his wife with another man at a store in Auburn on Friday night, Pierce County Sheriff spokesman Ed Troyer told The News Tribune of Tacoma.
Ryan Peden, the daughter's classmate, had said she told him Friday night that her parents had gotten into a fight and her mother had left. The father followed the mother and tried to get her to return, said Peden.
Troyer said the woman told her husband she was not going home and that she was leaving him for the man with her at the store.
"He was devastated," Troyer said.
Investigators believe the father later killed his children and returned to the area near the store looking for his wife. His body was found near the store, Troyer said. He left no suicide note.
Troyer did not immediately return calls from The Associated Press, but sent an e-mail confirming his account to The News Tribune.
Four of the children were shot in their beds and the fifth was shot in the bathroom, Pierce County deputies said. Auburn Police Sgt. Scott Near said their father had apparently killed himself with a rifle.
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