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Police in Ohio says a man fatally shot his two young daughters before turning the gun on himself.
Aaron D. Williams, 32, shot his children as officers arrived at the family’s apartment in Columbus, according to Columbus police. When they entered the home, authorities found 9-year-old Ava Williams and her 6-year-old sister, Alyse, critically wounded from gunshot wounds.
Aaron Williams was found with a self-inflicted gunshot. He died at the scene. The girls were rushed to a nearby hospital, where they both died from their wounds.
The sudden violence has devastated those close to the family.
“The girls were just so bright and full of energy,” Erica Osborn, a family friend, tells the Columbus Dispatch. “Every time I knocked on the door to drop a meal off or pick one up, they would come running. The first thing they tell you is that they love you. I just cannot believe they’re gone.”
The attack was not the first time that Williams has been violent. The Dispatch obtained court records that showed that he was charged with domestic violence with intent to harm and assault in September 2018. He pleaded guilty and was given a three-day suspended sentence for a reduced charge of disorderly conduct.
In a statement, Columbus police Chief Thomas Quinlan said the case has been difficult for officers who responded to the scene.
“Behind every badge is a human — a mother, father, sister or brother,” Quinlan’s statement read. “And while we have a job to do — a job we signed up for — we hurt too. We grieve with these families. Our hearts break for their devastated mother, and all who loved them.”