A man and woman were found fatally shot late Tuesday in a row house in the Aldie section of Loudoun County, in what authorities described as an apparent murder and suicide that was domestic in nature.
“It appears to be” a husband and wife, said county sheriff Mike Chapman. The names of those killed were not available immediately.
An older woman, who was believed to be the mother of one member of the couple, suffered a wound to the arm, Chapman said.
No motive for the shootings was known immediately. The incident on Eloquence Terrace remained under investigation this morning.
Two juveniles in the house were not injured, authorities said. Neighbors described them as two boys, one a high school student and the other, his brother, a junior high student.
The deadly violence was unusual not only on the quiet town-house street, but also in the county as a whole. According to Chapman, only one homicide was reported in Loudoun last year. The year before that, he said, there were none.
As for the street, it is a quiet and serene place, said one resident, Ezra Magnus. People there get along with each other and tend to their own affairs, he said.
In a dramatic event connected to the shooting, firefighters brought the wounded woman and one of the two students down a ladder from an upper story.
In part, Chapman said, it was to avoid forcing them to look at the crime scene.
The grandmother was convulsed by sobs as she was put into an ambulance, a neighbor said.
Sheriff’s deputies went to the scene about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night after a call to 911 spoke of gunfire.
Magnus said his wife had heard a “series of bangs,” almost as if someone was repeatedly slamming shut a kitchen cabinet drawer. Or, he said, possibly as if someone were hammering on a wall.
First one deputy arrived, on the street, which is about a mile or so south of Route 50 and about five miles east of Route 15. Then another arrived, Meanwhile, additional shots were heard, Chapman said. The deputies closed off the area around the house. After more deputies reached the scene, one with a dog, they went in through the door.
Inside they found the two gunshot victims and the wounded woman, Chapman said.