Police: Herndon Deaths Ruled Murder-Suicide

Husband kills sons and wife before turning gun on himself in Point Rider Lane home, police say.

The family of four found dead Tuesday inside a home on Point Rider Lane in Herndon was killed in a murder suicide, police said Wednesday.

A Fairfax County Police Department investigation revealed Albert Peterson, 57, killed his wife, Kathleen Peterson, 52, and their children, Matthew, 16, and Christopher, 13, before taking his own life.

The Virginia Office of the Medical Examiner determined the cause of death for each of the four family members was gunshot wounds to the upper body, according to police.

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Yesterday neighbors gathered throughout the neighborhood as police and press descended on the property after the initial report. A coworker of one of the adults called the police to ask for a welfare check after they hadn't been to work in two days. 

Police breached the home at about noon on Tuesday and found the bodies. 

A candlelight vigil will be held for the family tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Floris United Methodist Church. 

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Nora Mundy September 26, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Our prayers are with the the family while they go thru this difficult time.
Nora Mundy September 26, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Our prayers are with the family as they go thru this very difficult time.
Carol Bruce September 26, 2012 at 08:23 PM
So very, very sad on so many levels.
Bart Raguso September 27, 2012 at 12:12 PM
What is so tragic is we permit ourselves to live together without really knowing what is going on with each other. It is a failure of our whole sense of community, but clearly this tragedy is a sad and desperate solitary act. God be with this family and all those directly and indirectly affected. And really that means all of us. We are all affected when anyone chooses such an extreme response to whatever the trigger was in this equation. That this individual made the choice he did means he was unaware, for whatever reason, of his duty to his greater community. We mourn the loss of these innocent lives and the loss of one of our fellow humans who felt he had no other choices.
The Convict September 27, 2012 at 04:54 PM
I am deeply saddened to read about these events. I offer my condolences to the family, friends and acquaintances of the Peterson's. This is a tragedy indeed.


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