4 dead in suspected murder-suicide near Darien

A police officer adjusts caution tape surrounding a house in Darien where four people were found dead Tuesday. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune)

A man fatally shot his wife and two daughters before turning the gun on himself near Darien Tuesday, according to officials.

The shootings took place in the 500 block of Oldfield Road in DuPage County near Darien. The deaths are believed to have been a triple murder-suicide, according to sources.

Dead were Jeana Andrus, 48, Jessica Andrus 22, Jennifer Andrus 16, and David Andrus, 50, according to a release from the DuPage County sheriff's office. All were family members, according to the release, and all were apparently killed by gunshot wounds.

The four were found by Sheriff's deputies about 3:30 p.m. in the home, according to the release.

Law enforcement sources said the man killed the other three before turning the gun on himself. David Andrus was believed to have shot his wife first in the basement of the home, then went upstairs and shot his two daughters before turning the gun on himself, another source said. His body was found on top of the daughters' bodies, the second source said.

The second source said Andrus was recently fired from his job from a company in Willowbrook.

Neighbors said the couple and their two daughters lived at the home, along with two other relatives.

"It appears the bodies received gunshot wounds, however our investigation is ongoing and autopsies are to be performed at our office today," the coroner's office said in a statement. Information on the cause and manner of death of the four was pending final results, according to the office.

DuPage County investigators were on the scene again this morning, but officials have not released any detailed information about the deaths, only saying that there is no danger to the public.

Darien Mayor Kathleen Weaver said the city's police department was called in to help because the incident happened in unincorporated DuPage County.

“I have no details,’’ Weaver said.

Rachel Steinhaus, who lives three houses down the road from the murder scene, said that six relatives of an extended family live in the brown, two-story home roped off by crime scene tape at the bottom of the hill.

Steinhaus said that a mother, father and two daughters, ages 16 and 20, resided there alongside two male cousins, who moved in last summer and are brothers.

Steinhaus said the older of the two cousins, with whom she is close friends, came home from work around noon Tuesday and later in the day got into a shouting match with the man who lived in the house, who was his uncle. 

“I just heard them yelling at each other,” Steinhaus said this morning. “Like a normal family argument.”

A couple of hours later, Steinhaus said, she heard a single pop, which she thought was the sound of the cousin slamming his car and driving away. Only when her younger sister looked out the window and police officers swaming the home did she realize the sound may have been something more serious.

She said she tried to reach the younger cousin, whom she called on his cell phone.

“He said he was at work. I told him, 'You gotta come home.”

She said that he frantically tried to reach his relatives.

“He was trying to figure out what was going on,” she said. “He called the house, he called everyone's cell phone that lived in the house.”

He then called a neighbor's home where his brother had fled during the shootings, Steinhaus said.