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Three killed in murder-suicide identified by Zachary Police

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ZACHARY, La. - A 77-year-old man shot and killed his dead wife's children before killing himself in a murder-suicide Wednesday afternoon.

The shooting happened at 6627 Martin Dr. in Zachary near the Fennwood Hills Country Club at the home of the shooter, police said.

Thursday, those killed were identified as Deborah Watts Ross, 48, a local woman, and Beverly Watts, also 48, of Lafayette.  The shooter was identified as James Brannon, 77.

The shooting happened at Brannon's home.

Police believe he may have been distraught over his wife's death a day before the shooting.

For help dealing with any mental health issues, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, call 1-800-273-8255.

"The investigation is ongoing. We learned through family members the victims' mother and suspected shooter's wife had passed away on [Tuesday] at the residence," Zachary Police Chief David McDavid said. 

Brannon's wife died of a health-related issue.

"I ask that you pray for the family, victims, police officers, the EMS workers, the fire department.  It's tough right now," the police chief said.

Referencing the strain of everyone as stay at home orders have kept people inside amid ongoing fear of coronavirus spreading, he continued, "This has been going on for three weeks now; It's tough out there.  But, I ask that you pray for their families." 


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