Tim Larsen  /  AP
Police tape secures a home, the scene of a shooting, in Manalapan, N.J., on Sunday. Authorities say Alim Hodzic of Manalapan shot and killed 41-year-old Esat Astafovic and his 35-year-old wife, Violsa, late Saturday at their home in the affluent section of Monmouth County.
updated 10/8/2006 6:55:02 PM ET 2006-10-08T22:55:02

A soured business relationship may have led a man to kill his brother-in-law and the man’s wife before killing himself with his own gun, prosecutors said Sunday. A fourth person was wounded.

Authorities said Alim Hodzic shot and killed 41-year-old Esat Astafovic and his 35-year-old wife, Violsa Astafovic, late Saturday at their home in an affluent section of this Monmouth County community in central New Jersey.

Hodzic, 53, of Manalapan, was married to Esat Astafovic’s sister, prosecutors said.

Hodzic and Esat Astafovic were partners in a window company, prosecutors said, and Astafovic had pursued civil litigation against Hodzic that resulted in his winning “a substantial financial reward.”

“There appears to have been personal animosity between the shooter and victim,” Monmouth County Prosecutor Luis Valentin said.

Authorities said Hodzic shot Esat Astafovic in his driveway, then went into the house and shot his wife and father, Rasim Astafovic, 74, who was taken to a hospital with a gunshot wound to the upper torso. He was in stable condition Sunday evening, according to a nursing supervisor.

Police arriving at the scene saw Hodzic walking down the road carrying a gun. When Hodzic was ordered to drop the gun, he placed it under his chin and shot himself, officers said.

Hodzic had two handguns, a knife in a sheath and a plastic bag of ammunition, authorities said.

Two of the Astafovics’ four children, as well as Esat Astafovic’s 66-year-old mother, Rabij, were at home at the time but were unharmed, prosecutors said.

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