A family of four, including an 11-year-old boy, were killed in a suspected murder-suicide that appears to have been committed by a father in Santa Clarita Friday morning, authorities said.
Those killed were identified by friends as 51-year-old Michael Birnkrant, his 47-year-old wife, Amy, and their two children — daughter Drew who is in her early 20s and an 11-year-old son.
Photos posted on daughter Drew Birnkrant’s social media accounts showed her with her younger brother, the friends confirmed.
The shooting “appears to be a murder-suicide in which the husband shot and killed three individuals and then turned the gun on himself,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Rodney Moore said.
All were found shot in the chest in their Pacific Hills home, and a gun was located near Michael’s body, according to investigators.
The bodies were not all in one room, but rather across different locations throughout the house, Moore said.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene of the killings in the 28800 block of Startree Lane at about 7 a.m. after friends of Amy’s requested a welfare check at the home on Friday after not seeing her for a few days, officials said.
It is unclear how long the bodies were there or when exactly the killings happened, Moore said.
The bodies were removed from the scene Friday night by the L.A. County coroner’s office.
Moore said investigators are not looking for a suspect and there was no indication of a break-in. Officials are still investigating if a motive could possibly be behind the slayings.
Neighbors and friends told KTLA Amy and the children were involved in the community and well-liked, but Michael not as much.
Amy was described as an avid runner who operated a day care center, Amy’s Corner, from the home. No children were present at the time of the killings, a law enforcement official confirmed.
Michael drove for movie studios and didn’t speak with neighbors much, they said.
“It’s devastating to know of anybody doing this, let alone a neighbor,” said Sandy Barajas, who lives nearby. “Heartbreaking … those children are gone. they’re gone. That family, a family of four … they’re gone.”
KTLA’s Erika Martin and Meghan McMonigle contributed to this story.