NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson’s in-laws and his 11-year-old nephew were found shot dead in their Oklahoma home late Monday in what police said they are investigating as a murder suicide.
Three bodies — Johnson’s father-in-law and mother-in-law, Jack Janway, 69, and Terry Janway, 68, along with their grandson, Dalton — were found in their Muskogee, Okla., home.
Terry and Jack are the parents of Johnson’s 44-year-old wife, Chandra Janway.
Jimme and Chandra Johnson were married in 2004 and have two daughters.
According to reports, police said it was likely Johnson’s mother-in-law, Terry Janway, shot and killed her husband and their grandson before turning the gun on herself.
Police said they responded to the home shortly after 9 p.m. after a woman, believed to be Terry, called 911 to report someone had a gun at home and then quickly hung up.
When officers arrived at the property, they discovered a body lying in the hallway inside the front door before additional gunshots rang out.
They quickly dragged the body out of the home and then urged anyone else inside to come out, cops said.
The other two bodies were later found in another part of the house, according to police.
Police said additional information would be released as it becomes available.
Muskogee Mayor Marlon Coleman told FOX23 he knew the Janway family well and that they were prominent members of the community.
“It was traumatizing to find out that a long-standing family who had made so many contributions to our community were involved in this type of incident,” the mayor said.
“It was even more bone-chilling to find out there was a child involved.”
Jack owned the Janway Chiropractic and Acupuncture business, the mayor added.
“I knew Dr. Janway. Dr. Janway has worked on me, we’ve been acquaintances for a very, very long time since I’ve been in Muskogee,” Coleman said. “Just knowing that it was him and his family took a different toll on me.”
Johnson, a seven-time NASCAR Cup champion, was scheduled to race in a Chicago street event this weekend, but his team announced that he has withdrawn from the race due to a family matter.
They didn’t elaborate any further.
On Tuesday, Muskogee Public Schools issued a statement mourning the loss of Dalton.
“Dalton was a fifth-grade student at Sadler Arts Academy who was cherished by his teachers and fellow classmates,” the statement said.
“Our heart goes out to the entire Rougher community who knew him as a friend and classmate.”
The tragedy comes nine years after the Janway’s 27-year-old son, Jordan, died during a skydiving accident in California.
Jordan was killed when he collided with another sky diver during a free fall and wasn’t able to open his parachute.
“It’s been so tough for myself to sit back and watch the people I love deal with so much pain,” Johnson said at the time.
Johnson went on to describe his brother-in-law as a “very adventurous guy” who died “doing something he loved.”
The champion racer added: “He was very passionate about it. Never met a stranger, very warm, caring young man.”