A 14-year-old boy fatally shot his mother and little sister and then committed suicide Friday in this small town rocked by a triple homicide just 10 months ago.
Aaron J. Moore, identified as the shooter in Friday’s slayings, was a cousin of Arnold Fritz, a teenage boy slain in last February’s shooting deaths at Frontier Junior High School.
The Grant County Sheriff’s Department said Moore shot his mother and sister to death and then shot himself inside the family home.
The mother was identified as Linda J. Moore, 43, and the sister as Mallory Moore, 9, the Sheriff’s Department said. The father, Ron Moore, was at work at the Grant County Public Works Department, authorities said.
Investigators believe at least seven shots were fired with a small-caliber rifle, KHQ-TV of Spokane reported.
The bodies were discovered by a utility repairman who had stopped by the home in Cascade Valley, a housing development just outside this farming town of 11,500 about 90 miles west of Spokane.
Autopsies were scheduled for today, Coroner Penny Sibley said.
A suicide note found in Aaron Moore’s bedroom did not indicate a motive, Sibley said, only “that he intended to kill himself.”
“This is a tragedy,” Undersheriff Michael Shay said. “Every time you have a homicide they’re a tragedy. I don’t know how to explain it any further than that.”
Mallory Moore was a third-grade student at Larson Heights Elementary. Larry Ellestad of Moses Lake told the Columbia Basin Herald newspaper that Linda Moore and Arnold Fritz’s mother Alice were cousins. Ellestad is also a relative of the Fritz family and the Moores.
Arnold Fritz, Manuel Vela, 14, and teacher Leona Caires were gunned down in a math class on Feb. 2. Classmate Barry Loukaitis, then 14, is charged with three counts of aggravated first-degree murder. He faces trial Feb. 4.
No one returned a telephone message left Friday on the Fritz family’s answering machine.
Aaron Moore was a student at Chief Moses Junior High School. An official at the school declined to answer questions.
Classmate Quintin Justice said Aaron Moore hadn’t seemed depressed about the shooting death of Arnold Fritz.
“I talked to him and he said, “It doesn’t affect me that much,”’ Justice said.
A neighbor who spoke on condition of anonymity said she was a casual acquaintance of the dead mother.
“She walked her kid to the bus stop every morning,” the neighbor said. “She was a really nice lady.