West Des Moines murder suicide shooting leaves four Iowa family members dead, identified as Lavanya Sunkara, Chandrasekhar Sunkara and the couple’s two children.
## Update: Chandrasekhar ‘Chandra’ Sunkara, 44, shot dead his wife Lavanya Sunkara, 41, and their two sons, aged 15 and 10, before turning the gun on himself, West Des Moines police said Monday.
Original Stpry: Sunday night EST: Iowa authorities have identified the four family members who were found shot dead at their West Des Moines home over the weekend.
Relatives found the bodies of Lavanya Sunkara, 44, Chandrasekhar Sunkara, 41 and two boys aged 15 and 10 years inside their home, Saturday morning.
Autopsies are being performed to determine the cause of death.
Real estate records indicate the family had owned the home since March.
The house is in a neighborhood with well-kept suburban homes. The street was quiet outside of police activity on Saturday afternoon. Few neighbors were visible outdoors the Des Moines Register reported.
Unclear was whether a family member had shot dead the other three family members before shooting themselves dead in a possible murder suicide. Latest updates confirmed the father shooting his wife and the couple’s two children before turning the weapon on himself. It remained unclear what may have motivated Chandra Sukara.
West Des Moines police Sgt Dan Wade said there was no threat to the community and that investigators were trying to determine exactly what happened.
West Des Moines murder suicide shooting: Investigation underway.
Wade said authorities responded to a 911 call that was received around 10am on Saturday regarding an ‘unknown problem’.
Authorities were then dispatched to the residence at 935 65th St, between Ashworth Road and Aspen Drive.
Police said the relatives who discovered the bodies – also two adults and two children – had been staying with the family as guests.
West Des Moines police and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation are investigating.
‘This tragedy will impact family, friends, co-workers, anyone that knew this family,‘ Wade said. ‘We are continuing to work through this investigation. We will follow through until we have answered as many questions as the evidence allows.
‘We are confident, though, that there is no continuing threat to the community.’
‘You don’t see something like this happen in the Indian community, let alone a heinous act like this,’ Shrikar Somayajula who has known the Sunkaras for over a decade, told WHO-TV after the bodies were discovered.
‘The family was a very friendly family and so it is really painful,’ the man added.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety said Chandrasekhar worked for the department’s information technology unit for 11 years.
He was not a sworn officer.
“Chandrasekhar Sunkara, 44; Lavanya Sunkara, 41; and two boys, ages 15 and 10 were pronounced dead at the scene” https://t.co/zgTCFuLXOe
— Tanisha Baker (@talkingwitht) June 16, 2019