Four children are dead in Alaska after a 15-year-old boy is believed to have shot three of his siblings before taking his own life, state troopers told local media.
Alaska State Troopers received a report of a shooting in the Skyridge Drive Subdivision, north of Fairbanks, just before 4:20 p.m. Tuesday, NBC affiliate KTUU, which is based in Anchorage, Alaska, reported.
Responding troopers found four children dead from apparent gunshot wounds in a residence, the affiliate said.
Troopers said the 15-year-old boy was believed to have shot three of his siblings, ages 5, 8 and 17, before turning a gun on himself, KTUU and The Associated Press reported. Three other siblings in the home, all under the age of 7, were not injured, they said.
Troopers said the parents of the children were not home when the incident unfolded, according to both outlets.
Tim DeSpain, a spokesperson for the Alaska State Troopers, said authorities are still investigating any potential motive behind the deadly incident, AP reported.
DeSpain said the gun was a “family gun but beyond that, it’s all still part of the ongoing investigation.” He could not say if the 15-year-old had previously had any interactions with law enforcement, also saying that would be part of the investigation.
The state Office of Children’s Services has been informed about the shooting and the bodies of the children are being sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office, state troopers said, according to the outlets.
Clinton Bennett, a spokesperson for the state Department of Family and Community Services, under which the Office of Children's Services falls, told AP in an email that the office “will not provide any information due to rules and regulations involving the confidentiality of all involved in specific cases.”
The office also will “not provide any information involving a case with an open investigation,” Bennett wrote.
Alaska State Troopers and the Office of Children's Services did not immediately respond to overnight requests for comment from NBC News.