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Police: Mass shooting a murder-suicide by dad

Police finally put to rest days of speculation and rumor surrounding a mass shooting that left six dead at a Delavan, Wis., apartment but a 1-year-old miraculously alive,  officially ruling it a murder-suicide Wednesday.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Police finally put to rest days of speculation and rumor surrounding a mass shooting that left six dead at a Delavan apartment, officially ruling it a murder-suicide Wednesday.

Ambrosio Analco killed his twin infant sons; their mother, Nicole McAffee; McAffee's sister, Ashley Huerta, and a friend who was visiting the apartment before shooting himself to death Saturday night, police Chief Tim O'Neill said.

Analco also tried to kill his 1-year-old daughter, shooting her in the chest, but she miraculously survived and remained in good condition Wednesday at University Hospital in Madison.

The killings left this town of 8,000 about 40 miles southwest of Milwaukee in shock. Police said next to nothing about the slayings for three days, saying only that no one else was in danger and it appeared to be a domestic disturbance.

At a press conference, O'Neill thanked the victims' families and the media — which has descended on Delavan in throngs — for their patience. He said investigators had to work through a number of scenarios and although forensics tests likely won't be available for months, all investigators involved are "confident" the incident was a murder-suicide.

O'Neill said his city has never seen a tragedy of this magnitude.

"It's been terrible for Delavan," O'Neill said. "But you know what? This community is resilient."

O'Neill left the press conference without taking questions about details of the shooting.

Family members have said Analco often fought with McAffee. Analco no longer was living with McAffee, and he had threatened to kill everyone in her apartment if he caught her cheating on him, according to Victor Huerta, Ashley Huerta's brother-in-law.

McAffee's father, Steven McAffee, told The Associated Press Wednesday he had no idea things were so bad between his daughter and Analco. He had just gone out to dinner with Analco a few weeks before the shooting, he said.

'I could have protected her'
Since Saturday, though, his daughters' friends have told him Analco was a heavy drinker and at least once took Nicole McAffee out to a graveyard, pulled a gun on her and told her to run.

But Nicole never told him anything was wrong.

"Why didn't she tell me?" he said. "I could have protected her ... I always told those girls they could tell me anything. I was buying their tampons when they were 12."

He said Analco would sometimes just show up at the apartment, but he would never hold or kiss his children.

"They just seemed like toys to him. Like objects," McAffee said, calling Analco a "psychopath" and a "maniac."

Steven McAffee said he had learned Analco, who didn't live in the apartment, was stealing his daughters' mail and had discovered a letter from one of Nicole McAffee's ex-boyfriends on the day of the murders.

He said he had spoken with Ashley's husband, Gaspar Huerta, Ashley Huerta's husband, who escaped the shooting by leaping out a window. He told him Analco shot Ashley Huerta twice in the back as she tried to get away and saved Nicole McAffee for last.

Nicole McAffee swept the couple's 1-year-old daughter, Jasmine Analco, into her arms and begged Analco not to shoot her, too, Steven McAffee said. But he reloaded and gunned her down, Steven McAffee said.

He said his daughter had to have known she was going to die.

"I can just imagine the terror," he said.

One mystery not solved
Walworth County Sheriff's Deputy Kirk Dodge, a member of the SWAT team that stormed the apartment, found Jasmine Analco in a van outside the apartment. It's unclear how she got there; Steven McAffee said that's the part he can't figure out.

Dodge carried her in his arms to Delavan Police Sgt. Todd Wiese, who placed the girl on the trunk of his squad car so a SWAT paramedic could bandage her wounds.

The girl wasn't making any sounds, he said, but her eyes were open. He removed her shirt and saw she had been shot in the chest, Wiese said.

That's when SWAT commanders made the decision to take the house. When the team came out, they were in shock, fighting back tears, staring blankly into space, biting their lips, Sheriff David Graves said.

"They've handled a lot of stuff," Graves said. "But the look on their faces, I've never seen."

McAffee said the pain will never end.

"I'll never be over it," he said. "They were all part of me."