Friends and relatives are mourning the deaths of a Chester County couple after what police described as a domestic murder-suicide Tuesday night.
The victims, Audra Melrath Aston, 41, and her estranged husband, Eric David Aston, 42, were sweethearts at Coatesville Area High School, friends said. Married 19 years, they had three sons.
East Brandywine Township police were dispatched about 5:15 p.m. to a shooting at a residence in the 200 block of Lenora Lane owned by Eric Aston's parents, Diane and Loren Aston. Officers found Audra Aston in her vehicle with a gunshot wound to the head. Her husband was in the rear of the property with a gunshot wound to the head, police said.
Eric Aston was pronounced dead at the scene, and Audra Aston was flown to Crozer-Chester Medical Center, where she died. Police said that Eric Aston and the couple's 11-year-old son had been staying with his parents and that Audra Aston had come to take their son to dinner.
According to police, the two were speaking outside when a shot was heard. Family members saw Eric Aston acting distraught, holding a gun, and running from the car. They were unable to stop him from shooting himself, police said.
Lisa Wooten, a friend of Audra Aston's mother, Judy Melrath, said she was a neighbor of the couple for six or seven years.
She described Audra Aston as "the sweetest, most beautiful, kind girl," adding that her husband seemed completely devoted to her.
"I can't imagine anything like this happening," Wooten said.