A 68-year-old father who shot and killed his two teenage children in Sydney’s north-west on Thursday had been embroiled in a custody battle when, earlier this year, he registered for the two guns used in the shootings.
Family lived in fear of gun-owning father before he shot children dead in Sydney home
A 68-year-old who police believe fatally shot his two teenage children in West Pennant Hills was found dead in Normanhurst.
John Edwards, a Sydney financial planner, was the target of a massive manhunt on Thursday evening after his teenage children – Jack, 15, and 13-year-old Jennifer – were found shot dead in their bedrooms in a house in Hull Road, West Pennant Hills, about 5.20pm.
Police found Mr Edwards’ body at his house in Harris Street, Normanhurst, early on Friday morning, having suffered a fatal, self-inflicted gunshot wound.
At the property, investigators also found the two firearms used in shooting the children. Police said they had secured all other firearms registered to the man, although only the two firearms were found at the Normanhurst residence.
Emergency services were met with horrific scenes early on Thursday evening when they responded to calls reporting the sound of gunshots at the home on Hull Road, West Pennant Hills.
Inside the property they found the bodies of the teenage boy and girl, both shot dead in their bedrooms.
The children’s 36-year-old mother arrived at the house shortly after police.
She was treated at the scene for severe shock and was released into the care of friends.
“I can’t imagine the significant stress and heartache she is going through,” acting Assistant Commissioner McFadden said.
“Our heart goes out to the family that are coming to terms with the death of these two young children.”
Speaking to the media on Friday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described the deaths as heartbreaking.
“This is a heartbreaking, a sickening crime. Two children killed, murdered, it appears by their father who has subsequently taken his own life,” he said.
“It’s a terrible, horrible sad tragedy. Our hearts go out to the mother and to all of the family, and we mourn the loss of those innocent young people. And just pray that those who have been so, so hurt in this – by this shocking crime, can find comfort in prayer and the consolation from friends and loved ones.”
Support is available by phoning Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service 1800 737 732; Men’s Referral Service 1300 766 491.