The mother of three children found shot, including two fatally, in a Burlington County house Thursday morning has been identified as Jeaninne LePage, state police said.
LePage, 44, and her three children, who have only been identified as school-age children, were found in the same room in the house on Holly Park Drive in Tabernacle, and shot with the same handgun, police said. LePage had a gunshot wound to the head. She and her surviving son are in "extraordinarily critical" condition at Cooper University Hospital, state police said.
Without elaborating, police said there was no threat to the public and that there was no manhunt for the shooter.
The children attended township public schools. Tabernacle Township schools superintendent George Rafferty said students and teachers were shocked.
"It's very tragic. We're a very close-knit community," Rafferty said.
Police are still trying to locate the next-of-kin, which in this case is the father. Troopers said the father lived elsewhere.
"We need to get a hold of Dad," said state police captain Geoff Noble, adding that the father did not live at the home and was not there during the shooting.
When exactly the shooting happened remains unclear. Police suspect it was overnight or early in the morning. Police also said that a total of nine people lived in the home, and that the five who were not injured were home at the time of the shooting, but did not hear the gunshots, police said. Investigators said they were still looking into why.
One of the five family members called 911 shortly after 9 a.m. Police rushed to the house. Neighbors said the squad cars' lights were on, but not the sirens.
"When they got there they found a really horrific scene," said Captain Stephen Jones, a state police spokesman, though he declined to elaborate. Responding officers have been offered counseling.
Noble said police were investigating the case as a homicide but added, "We are far from making a determination if this is a murder suicide. That is a long way away."
A neighbor who asked not to be identified said the street in the wooded residential development in the Pine Barrens was filled with police cars after the victims were found.
"All I know was that there was a shooting," she said.
She said the home where the shooting occurred belonged to a woman in her 70s and some of her adult children lived there with their families.
Caleb Rodriguez, 12, said children who lived in the house would come to his yard to jump on the trampoline and skateboard.
"They were very happy, they didn't look depressed," he said. "They had a fun time over here. I don't know why this happened."
State police and the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office are investigating.