BOONE COUNTY, Ind. – Authorities in Boone County are investigating a double murder-suicide involving a father and his two children.
According to Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen, deputies were called to a home near State Road 32 and 900 East after the children's mother couldn't contact her children or their father. When she was notified the children didn't show up for school Friday, she called them but couldn't get ahold of them. She went to their father's house, where Nielsen says they were on a regularly scheduled visit with their dad at the time, but when no one answered the door called deputies.
Deputies arrived and did a welfare check. They said they found Michael Hunn, 50, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His son, 15-year-old Harrison Hunn, and daughter, 13-year-old Shelby Hunn, had also been fatally shot in their bedrooms.The sheriff said there was evidence that would lead him to believe the teens were shot in their sleep.
"I'll never be able to explain why it happens. It's a tragic event, we see it all too often and we just don't have the answers sometimes for why these things occur," Sheriff Nielsen said. "This is a community that's come together in the past, it's going to come together in this particular event as well and we're gonna try to get through it."
Investigators spent hours at the scene starting a search for answers. They used a drone to get a picture of the outside of the property and brought in a 3-D scanner to take images of the rooms involved.
"It's just begun, we've got to dive into the reason why this happened now and that's the key issue. It may take us weeks, it may take us months to figure out and during that time the investigation will continue and it's going to be important we continue to pray for the family because they're going to need that closure," Sheriff Nielsen said.
The sheriff said the Hunns' divorced in November of 2017 and shared custody of the kids. Court records show Hunn's wife attempted to file a protection order against him in January of 2014. Recent records show there was a petition filed for contempt last month and a court date was scheduled for next week.
However, the sheriff says he's been told the divorce was not a contentious one and family never saw this happening. There is no motive identified at this time.
"It's hard on the community and it's hard on the public safety personnel who have to respond to these types of incidents," Nielsen said.
Nielsen said the case is a tragedy and schools are offering counseling to those who knew the victims.
"Zionsville has already implemented their crisis team. They're working to take care of their staff as well as their students," Nielsen said. "They've been an integral part of this investigation from the very beginning."
Harrison attended Zionsville Community High School and Shelby attended Zionsville Middle School. The superintendent of Zionsville Community Schools released this statement:
Our entire school community grieves the loss of two students due to a tragedy at their home. One student was from the high school and one from ZMS. All ZCHS and ZMS counselors are providing grief counseling and gathering time for our students to remember their lost classmates. This will continue on Monday as well.
ZCHS and ZMS leaders have communicated the news to all staff and to grade eight (8) students (at ZMS) so that they can begin to access support immediately. Parents are asked to engage tonight and this weekend with their ZCHS and ZMS children regarding their coping with emotions and feelings during this difficult time. Our counselors can provide you with resources for those in need of additional support, and this support will be renewed when school opens again on Monday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the children whose lives were lost, and we ask that you join us in respecting their family time to grieve.