WALLKILL, N.Y. (AP) — A woman came home from work to find that her retired police officer husband had fatally shot their two sleeping children before turning the gun on himself, neighbors and authorities said Friday.
State police Maj. Joseph Tripodo said troopers and officers with the Wallkill Police Department responded Thursday evening to a 911 call reporting an unresponsive man at a home in the Orange County town of Wallkill, about 60 miles northwest of New York City.
When officers arrived, Tripodo said, they were told by John Casullo’s wife that she came home from work and discovered the bodies of her husband and their children, James, 8, and Kathleen, 12.
Troopers said John Casullo used a .45-caliber pistol to kill his children in their bedrooms. He then fatally shot himself in the head, police said.
Neighbors told WABC-TV in New York City that Casullo’s wife at first couldn’t get into the family’s home at the Valley View Mobile Home Park. She eventually got inside, then began screaming, neighbors said.
“I saw the lady outside screaming on the phone, saying, ‘My husband killed the kids and shot himself!'” Courtney Stevens told the station.
Other neighbors said the family moved in about 20 years ago and mostly kept to themselves, with Casullo a stay-at-home dad.
“The blinds were never open in the house, and that’s just the way John was,” another neighbor, Jean Stevens, told WABC.
Casullo retired as an officer with the police department in the nearby town of Newburgh. Town Police Chief Bruce Campbell told the Times Herald-Record that Casullo retired on an undisclosed disability. Records show he retired in early 2008.
“We don’t know all the facts yet, what happened or what led to it,” Campbell said.