Image: Police officers and crime lab investigators in Maryland
Jose Luis Magana  /  AP
Police officers and crime lab investigators collect evidence after four people were found dead Sunday at a home in Brooklyn Park, Md.
updated 8/7/2011 8:59:32 PM ET 2011-08-08T00:59:32

The mother of a man police say shot his wife, her twin teenage children and himself to death called police after receiving a disturbing text message from him and feared for their safety, authorities said on Sunday.

As officers arrived at the home in a neighborhood south of Baltimore to check on the family, they heard a single gunshot. Anne Arundel County Police investigators said 33-year-old Kelly Brian Thompson killed Nina Thompson, 34, and her 15-year-old children, Taishawn Pugh and Treshawn Pugh at the home.

The single shot officers heard was Kelly Thompson killing himself, said Lt. J.D. Batten.

The despondent tone of the text message made the man's mother concerned for her son's well-being and his family's safety, Batten said.

Residents of Brooklyn Park, a neighborhood of brick townhouses, gathered on their porches and yards to discuss the morning shooting, noting that times might be tough, but they couldn't believe that the man they had met would harm his family. Kelly Thompson was not the biological father of the twin boy and girl.

Family was 'well-respected'
Jody Eckmeyer says that Kelly Thompson was a truck driver, had a good sense of humor and often visited with neighbors. Nina Thompson was a nurse and the twins often spent time hanging out with friends on the porch and stayed out of trouble, she said.

"They were very well-respected," Eckmeyer said.

Another neighbor, Thomas Slade, said Kelly Thompson rode a Suzuki motorcycle. He would often come over to Slade's garage to have a couple of beers and work on his motorcycle while Slade worked on his Harley-Davidson.

"We were good friends, but we didn't ride together," he said. Slade never heard him talk about problems at home but he had recently mentioned that he had landed a new job with a trucking firm.

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