Four relatives found dead after apparent suicide inside Missouri home

An apparent triple-murder suicide took the lives of four adults who were related to each other in Northland, Missouri over the weekend.

A 14-year-old female called police to the site of the shooting in the Thousand Oaks neighorhood at around 9.15pm on Sunday.

When authorities arrived to the scene, they found the dead bodies of Sharmalee Pauling, 73, Carl Deruyscher, 66, Margaret Girard, 49, and Douglas Pauling, 50, inside the home. 

The teenage daughter of Douglas Pauling and Girard was the sole survivor of the attack.

Police suspect Douglas Pauling of shooting his former patner, Girard, along with his mother, Sharmalee Pauling, and her husband, Deruyscher, who was the suspected gunman’s step grandfather, before the turning the gun on himself.

It was reported by a neighbor that the teen said her father came after her, as well, but she escaped the home before calling the police. 

The crime occurred at the home of Sharmalee Pauling and Deruyscher, Fox 4 News reported.

A 14-year-old female called police after an apparent triple-murder suicide took the lives of both of her parents and her grandma and step grandpa in Northland, Missouri on Sunday; An aerial view of the teen’s grandparents’ home where the crime occurred in shown

‘It’s an unfortunate event,’ Platte County Sheriff Mark Owen told the Kansas City Star. ‘It’s a shock to the community.’ 

Based on audio recorded by of the emergency dispatcher trying to get units to respond to the area, the teenager’s father was identified as a person of interest almost right away. 

‘[S]he’s not giving us an address but her father had a gun and he shot, I believe, the grandmother and shot at her,’ the dispatcher said. ‘She was not giving us an address. We’re trying to get her back on the line.’ 

According to a neighbor’s account of a conversation with the teen, Douglas Pauling first shot the teen’s mother and his own mother, before going after his own daughter.

Platte County Sheriff Mark Owen (pictured) called the incident 'a shock to the community'

Platte County Sheriff Mark Owen (pictured) called the incident ‘a shock to the community’

The daughter escaped, and at some point the step-grandfather went back into the house to try to calm the father down, which is when it’s believed the father shot his own step-father and then turned the gun on himself. 

After the incident occurred and before this information was revealed, the dispatcher continued with what details were relayed while the teen was on the phone.

‘Information the (reporting party) advised that he has brown hair that’s very short and has a scruffy face, he’s wearing glasses, a T-shirt and cargo shorts,’ the dispatcher said. ‘[Inaudible] says the parties that have been shot are going to be in the dining room.

‘She got out of the house. When she left, the father and everyone else were still in the residence, between the kitchen and the dining room, is what she’s telling her partner right now.’ 

The teen called the shooting in as a witness, and was not considered a suspect at that time, Capt. Jeffery Shanks, spokesperson for the Platte County Sheriff’s Office said.

‘Initially she wasn’t sure of the exact address of where she was,’ Shanks said. ‘She indicated there was a party armed with possibly a rifle.’

Dispatchers, however, determined the teen was somewhere in the 14000 block of Northwest 63rd Street, which intersects with North Nevada Avenue. 

As officers replied that they were on their way to the general area, the dispatcher repeated that the girl was no longer on the line and hadn’t give the exact location of the shooting.

‘She was not responding,’ the dispatcher said. ‘She would not give us the street. She forgot the address. She’s very shaken up.’ 

Once officers arrived on the scene, after setting a perimeter in the event there was an active shooter situation, authorities made the call for the SWAT team to tactically enter the home.

‘Once the SWAT team did enter and clear the house, what they did discover was that there was four deceased parties inside the residence,’ Shanks said.  

Nearby neighbor and retired police officer Chuck Stockman said that whatever happened in the home took place quietly, and that he didn’t hear anything that resembled gunfire.

Girard has also lived on the block for four years. 

The teenager who reported the incident was placed in protective custody until family could arrive, Sheriff Owen said.

For confidential help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or click here. 

The teen who reported the incident was placed in protective custody until family could arrive

The teen who reported the incident was placed in protective custody until family could arrive