A 15-year-old boy tragically shot his three siblings dead before turning the gun on himself in a suspected murder-suicide, it is reported.
Four children were tragically found dead by police following the shocking incident in Fairbanks, Alaska on Tuesday (July 26).
Another three were found safe at the property by officers from the Alaska State Troopers. Their parents were not home at the time.
Police were said to have attended the house in the Skyridge subdivision of the city in the late afternoon following a report of gunshots being heard, and found the children dead inside with bullet wounds shortly afterwards.
Initial inquiries determined the 15-year-old had fired at them with the family gun before taking his own life. Troopers spokesman Tim DeSpain told Anchorage Daily News that the victims were aged 5, 8 and 17 years old.
The bodies of the four children have since been sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office, and t he Office of Children’s Services has been informed.
Social media users from Alaska and across the United States reacted to the shooting with shock, with some offering prayers and others expressing grief at another high-profile fatal shooting in the country.
According to the Violence Policy Centre, more than 1,200 Americans die every year in murder-suicide attacks, a total equivalent to around 11 incidents a week. Nine out of 10 of these fatalities are reported to involve a gun.
A tragic incident in Minnesota earlier this month saw three young children and their mother pulled dead from a car under a lake after concerns were raised for their welfare.
The two boys and girl found inside the vehicle were understood to all be under the age of 6, according to ABC News. Devastated family and friends were later seen paying tribute at Vadnais Lake.