(Reuters) - Police in New Mexico are investigating the Christmas Day shooting deaths of four family members in a suburban Albuquerque home as a triple murder and suicide, authorities said on Thursday.
Rio Rancho police were called to the home late on Wednesday afternoon by a relative, police Captain Andrew Rodriguez said.
He said all four people appeared to have died from gunshots fired inside the home in the Northern Meadows subdivision of Rio Rancho, a mid-sized city that lies just north of Albuquerque.
The four were identified as Carlos Velasquez, 50; Marilyn Velasquez, 45; Roberto Velasquez, 22; and Adrian Velasquez, 14. Their precise relationships were not disclosed.
“We have not determined who the shooter is at this time, but no other people are suspected as being involved,” Rodriguez told Reuters by telephone. “No one else was injured. The deceased were the only occupants of the home.”
A relative, identified by local television station KRQE-TV as Rose Varona, said the family of four all lived at the house and they were up late celebrating on Christmas Eve.
When relatives did not hear from anyone in the Velasquez household on Christmas Day, another family member went to the house and discovered the deaths, the television station reported.
“We just try to draw the strength from God, even though we don’t understand what’s going on,” Varona said.
Rodriguez said in a statement, “This is a tragic event for the family and for the people in our communities. Our officers and detectives understand the impact this incident has on our entire city.”
Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Steve Gorman and Leslie Adler