April 16, 2011 / 5:55 PM / 6 years ago

Ohio man kills wife and three children, then self

DETROIT (Reuters) - A northern Ohio man shot to death his wife and three children before calling a police emergency operator early Saturday and killing himself, police said.

Alan Atwater, 31, of Oak Harbor called a 911-operator at 12:11 a.m. Saturday and told the communications deputy “there has been a terrible accident at my house, my wife and three children are dead,” the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office said.

Asked what happened, Atwater told the dispatcher “gunshot wound” and then “I‘m getting ready to kill myself right now,” the sheriff’s office said.

The dispatcher then asked Atwater “did you kill them?” and he said “yes.” The dispatcher asked “what went on,” and Atwater ended the call, the office said.

Police said they found five bodies upstairs at the family’s two-story farmhouse about 30 miles east of Toledo including Atwater; his wife Dawn, 30; daughter Ashley, 4; and sons Isaac and Brady, ages 2 and 1 respectively.

Atwater had no criminal record other than non-drug or alcohol-related traffic violations and was employed in the maintenance department at the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, the sheriff’s office said. Detectives were continuing an investigation.

Writing by Mary Wisniewski; additional reporting by George Tanber; Editing by David Bailey

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