Just two days before Christmas, 37-year-old Arizona Army National Guard member Levi Parker murdered his two daughters – ages 8 and 5 – and then took his own life, according to NY Daily News. At approximately 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Arizona police officials arrived at 5751 N. Kolb Road after receiving a call from Parker’s estranged wife, – whose name has been withheld — who claimed she received a threatening phone call from him.
Parker’s daughters, MacKenzie and Haylee, were visiting him at his home in Ventana Condominiums when he apparently called his estranged wife, who he was having court and legal issues with, and threatened to harm his daughters. Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos explained officers found.
“He made statements to her that basically led her to believe this was her last chance to talk to the kids alive.” When police officials arrived at the scene, they attempted to talk to Parker from outside of the door, but not long after, “deputies heard one gun shot and they forced entry into the home. Inside, they found the father and two daughters, all with gunshot wounds.”
Guardsman kills daughters, 5 and 8, and himself amid custody battle two days before Christmas https://t.co/akBFyrS3aN
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) December 25, 2015
Although officials have yet to confirm where the sisters where shot during the murder-suicide, some reports have stated that they were shot in the head. According to Tucson Now News, the oldest child, Mackenzie, was pronounced dead at the scene while Haylee was rushed to a local hospital, where doctors worked diligently to save her life, to no avail. She was pronounced dead not long after her arrival. Parker was still alive when he was transported to Banner University Medical Center, but succumbed to his injuries on Christmas Eve at 12:10 p.m. after being on life support for several hours.
Holding back tears, Sheriff Nanos gave a statement on the crime.
“This is tough. It is a couple hours before what’s supposed to be the best day in the world for little kids. Our community lost two little ones and that mom is gonna have a tough time too.”
A month prior to the murder-suicide, Parker posted MacKenzie’s Christmas list, which included several items such as a horse, chocolate, and a guitar. However, MacKenzie and Haylee will never have a Christmas again as a result of their father’s senseless act.
According to the girl’s aunt, Joan Parker, their father became irate after learning his estranged wife had a new boyfriend.
“He did not want another man with his girls, and was trying to get custody of them,” said Joan. “I personally think he’s been through so much in the military, almost 15 years. He could have developed PTSD or some kind of mental condition.” The murder-suicide came about just three months after the couple separated, and there are no reports on previous occurrences that happened in the home that would indicate that Parker was a threat to the children.
The Tucson community was shocked after learning that the father murdered his own daughters in cold blood just two days before Christmas, then took his own life. One of the Parker’s neighbors who was home during the time of the incident spoke on the senseless act.
“It completely blindsided us. Like we were home and it sounded like someone pounding a nail on a board.”
Another neighbor said that after the father murdered his daughters, it has “been the talk of the community.” Carey Ruziska, who worked near the condominium, added that the murder-suicide was something unbelievable.
“You cannot imagine a bigger nightmare for a mother. You cannot imagine that. How unbelievably sad and devastating that would be.”
Although the mother of MacKenzie and Haylee has yet to speak out on the murder of her children, the family has released a statement, asking the public to Please keep our family in your hearts and prayers in our unimaginable grief.
[Image via AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu]