Woman, 2 children dead after Montreal domestic dispute

A woman and two children were found shot to death Saturday inside their suburban Montreal home and a suspect was clinging to life after an attempted suicide following an apparent domestic dispute.

A woman and two children were found shot to death Saturday inside their suburban Montreal home and a suspect was clinging to life after an attempted suicide following an apparent domestic dispute.

Police officersdiscovered the grisly sceneshortly before noon ET in Beaconsfield, a community in Montreal's west end. A friend of the family called 911 because no one came to the door.

"It appears to be a triple murder followed by an attempted suicide," said police spokesman Robert Mansueto.

"As the officers arrived on the scene, they entered the premises and they found the victims in their respective bedrooms," Mansueto said. "The man who we believe was the father was still alive."

Handgun found in house

The 41-year-old man was rushed to hospital and is in critical condition.

The woman, 40, and two sisters aged 10 and 17, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities have not confirmed the identities of the victims, but it is believed all were members of the same family.

Police said all the victims suffered from gunshot wounds. Investigators found a handgun in the house.

Neighbours said the sisters enjoyed tennis and ballet, and that their father is a psychologist.

"I never knew anything was really wrong," said Emma-Lee Regimbal, 14, who lives on the same tree-lined crescent.

"They seemed like really nice, down-to-earth people."

Regimbal, who took ballet with the younger sister,told the Canadian Pressthe young girl was slated to play the part of a mouse in an local production of The Nutcracker this Christmas.

The family had apparently moved into the neighbourhood in the summer of 2005.

"The kids were wonderful," said Andre Martin, who has lived in the neighbourhood for 18 years. "The [younger] daughter was a nice little angel. She was so beautiful, so full of energy, always smiling."

Police say none of the victims were known to them, and there was no record of ever having been called to the house.

String of murders in neighbourhood

Saturday's incident marks the fourth time in recent years that Beaconsfield has witnessed multiple murders.

In April 1995, Frank Toope and his wife Jocelyn were killed during a botched robbery. In May 2001, Margaret and Ed Fertuck were killed by their schizophrenic son, who also killed himself. Later that year, John Bauer killed his wife, three sons, father-in-law and a business partner before taking his own life.

All the incidents took place within a half-kilometre of each other.

With files from the Canadian Press