CHICAGO - An Illinois woman shot her boyfriend and each of her three children, including a 10-month-old baby, in the head before apparently killing herself, authorities said Monday. Investigators arriving on the scene found the children's bodies in the backyard, the woman's hands stained with soot from firing the gun.
Authorities say 30-year-old Sara McMeen shot her three children and boyfriend before turning the gun on herself Friday.
The murder-suicide Friday afternoon claimed the lives of the shooter, Sara McMeen, 30; her boyfriend, 29-year-old Daniel Warren; and McMeen's three children: 8-year-old Skyler Lemke, 7-year-old Ian Lemke and 10-month-old Maggie Warren.
Authorities released new details on the shootings in Emington, a farming community with 117 residents about 85 miles southwest of Chicago. Neighbors have said the gunfire erupted moments after McMeen's two older children got off a school bus on Friday.
Investigators found the body of her live-in boyfriend Warren inside the couple's rented home. They found McMeen and her three children in the backyard.
Next-door neighbor Annelise Fiedler told The Associated Press on Saturday that she ran out of her house when she heard the first burst of gunfire. She saw McMeen hovering over her baby as if she had dropped her.
Fiedler asked McMeen if everything was all right.
"She looked at me and said, `No, everything is not all right,"' Fiedler said. Then, McMeen shot the baby.
Autopsy results released Monday said 10-month-old Maggie Warren had two gunshot wounds in the head and a separate wound where a bullet grazed her neck.
McMeen's two older children, 8-year-old Skyler Lemke and 7-year-old Ian Lemke, also were shot in the head. Autopsy results showed Skyler died of two gunshot wounds to the head and one to the upper back. Ian was shot once in the head.
Daniel Warren, 29, had gunshot wounds in the back and neck, authorities said.
They said McMeen shot herself in the neck. She was found with a .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun next to her and soot had been deposited on her hands. Shell casings found at the scene were of the same caliber as the handgun.
Investigators have not identified a possible motive. Martin Meredith, the sheriff in rural Livington County, said in a statement that authorities were "still putting together this tragic incident" and wanted to talk to anyone who spoke to McMeen or Daniel Warren before the shootings.
Relatives of Brad Lemke, Skyler and Ian's father, declined to comment. Memorial funds have been set up in the names of the three children at the First National Bank in Dwight, Ill.