Richland County sheriff's deputies are investigating an apparent murder-suicide in the Riverwalk subdivision in Irmo where investigators say two adults and two children were found shot dead Wednesday.
Richland County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Curtis Wilson said the family of four was found dead in an upstairs bedroom at 1 Forest Walk Ct. Investigators found a handgun near the father, but it is unclear who shot whom.
Wilson said a concerned family member who was checking on the family after not hearing from her son in a couple of days discovered the bodies.
"It's one of those unfortunate situations," said Wilson. "Sheriff Leon Lott talked about domestic violence and how that seems to be so prevalent here in South Carolina. That's something we're working toward trying to help. We have victims services here talking to other family members as well."
Neighbors tell WIS the family that lived in the home was full of love and they are shocked by what happened.
One neighbor said the mother attended their church and last year had bible study inside their home and she describes the parents as very attentive.
A family friend said they never noticed any arguments, she also said they were strong in their faith.
Many still can't believe the family was found dead Wednesday.
"Well I'm very shocked," said neighbor Julia Stokes. "I've lived here for 6 months and the neighborhood is very quiet, very peaceful. The police patrol the area a lot. So when I heard this, I was first shocked, and then devastated and kind of upset because I understand there was some children that may have also been involved in this and children are very innocent most of the time and they didn't deserve what happened."
Wednesday's shootings come just one day after the Richland County Sheriff's Department released their latest statistics on crime.
Sheriff Leon Lott said while overall crime is down 12 percent since 2008, domestic related homicide cases were up.
"We are doing a lot to address that as one issue that's a priority for us," Lott said. "Our officers are trained to deal with domestic violence cases. The court system is working with us. I know one of our local magistrates is very concerned with this issue. She's looking into some alternatives. We've got to stop that cycle of violence."
Authorities have not yet released the identity of the victims or their causes of death.
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