RISING SUN — A father shot his 7-year-old son dead inside a Rising Sun-area home Sunday and then turned the weapon on himself, taking his own life, according to the Cecil County Sheriff's Office.
"We are investigating this as a murder-suicide. There were witnesses, and we are interviewing them to determine exactly what happened. There was some sort of disturbance at the residence prior to the shooting, but the child was not involved in that disturbance," said Lt. Michael Holmes, a CCSO spokesman.
As of early Monday morning, CCSO officials were withholding the names of the 33-year-old father and his son.
The double-fatal shooting occurred at approximately 3:30 p.m. inside a residence in the 1100 block of Ridge Road, north of Rising Sun, police said. CCSO deputies, Maryland State Police troopers and Rising Sun Police Department officers responded to the 911 dispatch, police added.
"Upon arrival, officers located a 7-year-old (boy) deceased inside the residence. The child had obvious trauma that appeared to be consistent with gunshot wounds," Holmes said, adding, "Officers also discovered a 33-year old male inside the residence suffering from a gunshot wound."
The boy was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Holmes. A Maryland State Police helicopter crew flew the gravely-wounded father to University of Maryland's Shock Trauma Unit in Baltimore, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving there.
Holmes told the Cecil Whig that the Critical Incident Stress Management Team has made counselors available to any law enforcement officer who worked at the double-fatal shooting scene and desires help coping with the emotional impact it may have had on him or her.
As of early Monday morning, investigators still hadn't determined if the father was under the influence of alcohol and, or, drugs at the time of the shootings, according to Holmes, who further reported that autopsies on the father and son are scheduled for later today.
"(CCSO) detectives are being assisted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore," Holmes reported.
Yellow crime scene tape cordoned off the Ridge Road property, which is located in a rural section of Cecil County. CCSO and Maryland State Police vehicles, as well as emergency vehicles, lined the road and numerous officers were bustling on and around the property.
A woman who lives on Ridge Road, several houses away from the double-shooting scene, told the Cecil Whig that she noticed a distraught woman go by her home Sunday afternoon.
"I saw a woman running down the road, toward the house (where the double-shooting occurred). She was crying and screaming, 'It was my grandson. It was my grandson'," said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous.
While the on-scene investigation was continuing late Sunday afternoon, a few visibly upset people arrived there. Some of them hugged and cried after seeing each other.
Stay tuned to CecilDaily.com, as more details are made available.