FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (DC News Now) — A day after a housekeeper found three people shot to death in the basement of a home in the Springfield area, police said it appeared to be a case of murder-suicide.
The Fairfax County Police Department said investigators believe that Tiku Berhane Gebreeyesus, 47, shot his wife, Meskerem Belachew Solomon, 38, and his brother-in-law, Amanuel Belachew Solomon, 31, then shot himself.
Heidi Berio and her husband Carlos said they fondly remember Meskerem Solomon as a kind, loving mother. The couple lives across the street from the Solomon home.
”Just very friendly, very kind, very maternal and loving when seeing her interacting with her boys,” Heidi Berio said. “I haven’t really met her daughter much, just seeing her here and there but from what I saw of her she was a lovely, very loving woman.”
The shootings took place around 3:45 p.m. Thursday in the 8500 block of Wild Spruce Dr.
Besides the housekeeper, who heard the gunshots and called for help, a nanny and one of three children who live in the home were there. The nanny and the child who were there at the time of the shootings were not hurt.
The Berio family said the other children were at school when the shootings occurred.
”We had the nanny over here with us trying to help care for the baby while the police were doing their investigation and at first I didn’t realize that was the baby. Their baby,” Heidi Berio said. “Everybody’s devastated.”
“Our children were also involved with that family,” Carlos Berio said. “It’s quite a gut punch. You’re speechless for a moment and you feel like you need to do something.”
Police recovered a gun from the basement.
As of Friday, detectives still were talking to people and looking at evidence in order to understand what led to the shooting. The police department said the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner would do autopsies to confirm the manners and causes of death.