Three children and a woman who police believe is their mother, were shot inside their Burlington County home Thursday.
Two of the children died. The mother and one of her sons remained in “extraordinarily critical” condition after being medevaced to Cooper University Hospital, according to New Jersey State Police.
Another relative who lives in the house on Holly Park Drive in Tabernacle, New Jersey found the victims around 9 a.m. and called for help.
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"When police got there, they found a really horrific scene,’ said New Jersey State Police Cpt. Stephen Jones. The victims were found in the same room and police believe they were shot with the same handgun, which was found at the scene.
"The adult victim is at this point believed to be the mother of the three children who were shot, however, that cannot be officially decided at this point, pending further investigation," said Capt. Geoff Noble, who heads up the state police forensic division.
Police later identified the woman as 44-year-old Jeaninne LePage. Friends said LePage, a nurse, has been out of work.
Nine people live in the house. They've all been accounted for and were interviewed by police, who assured neighbors early in the day there was no manhunt and no reason for anyone to feel threatened or alarmed.
Capt. Noble said many questions about what happened and who is responsible still need to be answered.
"At this point, I can tell you we are far from determining if this is a murder-suicide," said Noble. "What I can certainly tell you is that we are handling this as a homicide investigation."
Investigators believe the shooting occurred sometime overnight. New Jersey State Police called in their helicopter to airlift LePage and her son to Cooper, authorities said.
Identities of the young victims would not be released until relatives were notified. The children ranged in age from middle school to high school, according to police.
Members of the community organized a candlelight vigil Thursday night at Tabernacle's Town Hall, located at 163 Carranza Rd. At the vigil, children remembered their classmates.
Grief counselors will be on hand at local schools Friday to talk with grieving students and staff.