Investigators are trying to piece together what drove a 62-year-old man to fatally shoot his elderly mother, then turn the gun on himself at a New Jersey assisted-living facility Sunday evening.
U.S. & World
Stories that affect your life across the U.S. and around the world.
The murder-suicide happened about 5:45 p.m. in the Genesis HealthCare facility on the 3000 block of East Evesham Road in Voorhees.
Police said George Buller III, of Lumberton, went there to visit his mother, 85-year-old Andree Buller, had dinner with her, then shot her in her private room. George Buller then shot himself as a nurse's aide walked into the room, investigators said.
The man and his mother were both pronounced dead at 6:08 p.m. Police said George Buller was a regular visitor to the nursing home where his mother lived. They were working on Monday to determine what led to the murder-suicide and where George Buller got the gun he used. Officials said he walked back to his car just prior to the shooting.
No one else was hurt during the incident. Staff members cleared the wing and moved the residents to a safe place as police investigated.
Other visitors to the nursing home were shaken by the mother and son's violent deaths.
"I feel horrible," said Mike Vizoco, whose father lives at the facility. "I mean, everybody's happy that their loved one is OK, my dad, too, but I feel horrible."
Gladys Christopher rushed to make sure her parents were safe in the wake of the shooting. Her mother lives at the nursing home, and her father was visiting her at the time, she said.
"I want to make sure my mom's OK, my father's OK," Christopher said. "They're both in there."
By the time she arrived, police had cordoned off the building as they investigated.
Voorhees Township Police Deputy Chief Bill Donnelly told NBC10 no one heard any yelling or argument moments before the shooting. Police are trying to determine how and why a gun was brought inside the facility.
"It's unknown exactly where the gun was or if he did go out to retrieve the gun," Chief Donnelly said. "At this point that's what we're speculating because he did leave the facility and come back inside."
The facility is home to patients receiving short- and long-term care as well as those receiving cardiac management, dementia and Alzheimer's care. Genesis is based in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. It operates more than 500 centers in the country.
A spokeswoman for the Voorhees Center released a statement on the shooting Monday:
We were shocked and saddened by the tragedy that occurred yesterday. We are fully cooperating with law enforcement officials at this time and are hopeful that their efforts will help us to understand this tragedy. This is a challenging and emotional time for all of us.
We have grief counselors on site today to meet with any patient or resident who chooses. In addition, counselors will be available to provide support to our employees on every shift.
Voorhees Center is committed to being a safe environment for all our patients, residents and staff members. This is an isolated incident involving one family. We remain focused on providing quality care and services to all our patients and residents.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.
If you have any information on the shooting, please call Camden County Prosecutor's Office Detective Michael Sutley at 856-617-8003 or Voorhees Police Detective James Buinicky at 856-428-5400. You can also email information to firstname.lastname@example.org.