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A North Carolina man shot and killed his father and two teenaged sisters before shooting himself in what officials initially believed to be a house explosion on Wednesday, authorities confirmed to Fox News.
The Lenoir Police Department and the Lenoir Fire Department responded to 911 calls describing gunshots and a fire on Wednesday and discovered the four deceased and a “large fire” at the scene that the fire department initially described as “some kind of explosion.”
“Subsequent information and evidence gathered during the course of the investigation revealed that the suspect, Ronald James Ward (29 yoa) shot his sisters and father before intentionally setting the home on fire and shooting himself,” the department said in a Thursday situation update.
Police discovered the four deceased, including the 29-year-old known as “Jimmy”; his father, Ronald Ward, 58; and his sisters, Katlyn “Katie” Ward, 18; and Emily Ward, 15, inside the house that had been set ablaze. Police attempted to give medical attention to the victims, “but they had already succumbed to their injuries,” authorities said.
Police say the incident does not “appear to be a random act and no suspects are being sought at this time” as Jimmy Ward was the only suspect.
Upon arrival at the home, “officers immediately attempted to render medical attention to the victims, but they had already succumbed to their injuries,” police said in the Thursday update.
The medical examiner’s office will determine their exact causes of death.
An unnamed pastor who spoke with Fox 46 Charlotte Wednesday and who was familiar with the family in question said the Ronald Ward had taken his wife out for infusion treatments and returned home when the explosion was seen, according to the outlet.
The family had been attending his church for some 30 years, the pastor told Fox 46.
The Lenoir Police Department, Lenoir Fire Department and the North Carolina Bureau of Investigations are investigating the incident.
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