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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Dad took kids to theme park before killing family, self

LEESPORT, Pa. -- Authorities have named a Pennsylvania man as the shooter in a murder-suicide that left his family dead earlier this month.
The Berks County district attorney said Monday that 40-year-old Mark Short Sr. shot and killed his 33-year-old wife, Megan, and the couple's three children. 8-year-old Lianna, 5-year-old Mark Jr. and 2-year-old Willow were found dead alongside their parents Aug. 6 in the family's home in Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania.
A coroner confirmed Mark Short Sr. died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Officials say the man took his kids to Pennsylvania's Hershey Park, a theme park operated by Hershey's Chocolate company, the day before committing murder-suicidereports CBS Philadelphia.
Authorities say the couple had been having "domestic issues."
Mark Short, Sr. bought a gun from a licensed Lancaster County dealer on July 19, reports the station, a day after police responded to a domestic dispute call. Megan Short had called 911 and said she was afraid of her husband after a verbal argument, the station reports. A few days after that, Megan short leased an apartment..
In another incident in early June, the station reports, security was called to a hotel room in Philadelphia for a dispute between the couple, but there was no police involvement.
Neighbors say Megan Short had posted on social media before her death that she planned to leave her husband and she had asked for help moving out of the home on the day the family was found dead.
Investigators found a handwritten murder-suicide note on the dining room table and a handgun near the husband. The station reports the note was in the father's handwriting and in it, he admitted to the murders and to purchasing the gun.
Investigators believe he wrote the note after killing his wife, children and the family dog. All died of a single gunshot wound.
News articles had previously featured the family after 2-year-old Willow survived a heart transplant after birth. Megan Short posted regularly on social media about her youngest daughter's health struggles following the heart transplant surgery, according to CBS Philadelphia. In a May 25 post, Short wrote the young girl didn't cry during a recent blood draw and called her a "pro at this now."
"I have been super emotional over everything the past couple days. Just when I get used to her getting a little bit of normal childhood, I am reminded of all that she has to endure throughout her life," Megan Short wrote. "I have wondered if she would grow up to resent the fact that we chose this for her. Thankfully, she is a happy, happy girl who truly loves life. It's like she just knows life is precious. I am not looking forward to the day that she starts asking questions about it all and realizes she is different. Soaking in every single minute of her joy."
A funeral Mass was held Friday.

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