Mornings at a popular Las Vegas daycare are usually very busy. But sometime before the doors opened at 6 a.m., a shooting took the life of two parents and wounded their young children.
Police arrived just after 6 a.m. and found the bodies of two people — a man and a woman — outside the Kids Learning Campus Center, The Las Vegas Review Journal reported.
They soon discovered a sobering truth: evidence has suggested that the shooting is a murder-suicide, the working theory that the husband, 40, shot and killed his 27-year-old wife while she was dropping off their kids at day care. He then reportedly turned the gun on himself.
A preliminary investigation has suggested that the incident was domestic in nature, and the authorities aren’t searching for any suspects.
A 4-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were rushed to a local hospital. It’s not yet clear if they were shot intentionally, or by ricochets.
According to KSNV, sources within the daycare center report that the girl was shot in the shoulder and during the shooting, the boy ran into the building with a graze wound. One of them required surgery.
Sources have also revealed that the parents were in the middle of a divorce and have identified the mother as Christina Franklin, Las Vegas Now added. However, law enforcement hasn’t formally identified the deceased, nor the kids, pending notification of the family.
According to police, Christina was dropping off her children at the Las Vegas daycare, which they attend. An unknown amount of time later, the father arrived at the same location. Witnesses then reported hearing gunfire.
A woman who lives nearby, Theresa Hughes, described “lots of gunshots, very loud.” She and her husband ran to the scene and found the woman lying next to a white SUV in the parking lot.
After police arrived, a weapon was recovered. The boy and girl are now recovering in the hospital while police investigate a history of domestic violence between their parents.
Luckily, North Las Vegas police spokeswoman Ann Cavaricci said that no children were present at the time of the shooting. The center opens its doors at 6 a.m. and an employee confirmed that the shooting occurred before opening.
“They didn’t have any children inside the building at that time. However the employees inside once they realized what was going on and this incident started unfolding they did everything they could to ensure (their) safety.”
Two women, Shannon Lee and Laticia Almeida, who work across the street at a dentist office have been at the daycare center many times to teach the little ones about brushing and flossing, and they were both shocked to learn about the shooting. Almeida hoped the kids were okay.
“It’s sad that they’ll grow up without parents,” Lee added.
Las Vegas Now spoke with a local counselor, Ron Lawrence, about the hypothetical struggle they’ll endure in the wake of the shooting and death of their parents.
“There will be major psychological scars. They know it wasn’t good, and they know that two people aren’t going to be with them anymore. So, the child will really put that together and, of course right now, we need to meet those children where they are in a particular stage of development to see what their understanding is.”
The center where the shooting took place is one of three Kids Campus facilities in Las Vegas. They’re popular enough with the city’s parents to have a long waiting list, and offers “educational programs for toddlers, preschoolers, kindergartners and school-age children.” It was established 20 years ago.
[Photo By John Locher / AP]