AUSTIN, Ind. (WDRB Fox 41) -- Indiana State Police say they've determined that three children who were found dead inside a home in Scott County, Ind. were shot to death by their biological mother.
According to a news release distributed by the Indiana State Police, 30-year-old Amanda Bennett shot and killed 14-year-old Jasmine Abbott, 9-year-old Katelynn Bennett and 4-year-old Ryan Bennett on Friday while at their home in the 200 block of New York St.
Police say that after shooting her children, Amanda Bennett started a fire in the home and took her own life.
The family dog was also shot, but is recovering in a Scott County veterinary clinic.
Police are calling the incident, "a tragic case of murder/suicide that claimed three innocent lives along with the suspect of the murders, Amanda Bennett."
The official cause of death has not yet been determined, as the autopsies have not been completed, but preliminary autopsy results indicate that all four individuals died as a result of gunshot wounds to the head.
Friends say there were signs of marital problems.
"This past Sunday night we come home from church," said Karen Barrett, a friend. "There were two loads of cops here and the husband and wife I assume had a scuffle because that's what my niece said, that Jasmine had come to school talking about her mom and dad getting a divorce."
But other than that, Barrett says you would never know. "He'd get out and play basketball with the kids, she'd sit out on the porch and watch 'em play you'd never know there was any family trouble, never," said Barrett.
Police would not comment on any possible domestic problems. "That is part of our investigation so there are some things that we don't want to release," said Goodin.
Debra Davidson is a cook at Austin Elementary and says she'll never forget 9-year-old Katelynn. "She always gave me and one of the other cooks a hug every day," said Davidson.
The deaths are something many just cannot comprehend. "I can't understand it," said Barrett, "I just can't see it myself, Lord knows all about it."
Austin schools had extra counselors at school on Monday.
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