COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two young sisters were shot and killed by their father, who died by suicide, according to Columbus police.
Officers were called to a domestic dispute on Danwood Drive, near Norton Road and Hall Road in west Columbus, around 10:20 p.m. on Friday.
When officers arrived, they heard gunshots coming from a home.
Two girls, 6-year-old Alyse Williams and 9-year-old Ava Williams, were found shot inside.
The girls were taken to Doctor's Hospital where they were pronounced dead early Saturday morning.
Police said the girls' father, 32-year-old Aaron Williams, was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
10TV asked Mayor Andrew Ginther for a statement about this shooting and the violence in the city at the start of the New Year.
"As a father of a 10-year-old girl, my heart breaks at the news of the deaths of two young girls at the hand of their father.
We know the despair so many residents are facing because of unemployment, juggling remote or hybrid school schedules and the fear of COVID-19.
The city has invested millions of dollars to support residents during these challenging times and continue to connect families with community resources.
Last night's tragic events demonstrate that law enforcement is not always the answer.
This is why my proposed 2021 budget allocates funding for additional mental health and addiction services.
But each of us must remain engaged, too. Reach out to friends and family who seem to be struggling. And if you are feeling overwhelmed, hopeless or a threat to yourself or others, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255."
Police have not said what may have lead up to the shooting.
Columbus Police Chief Tom Quinlan wrote in a statement:
"Our hearts break for their devastated mother, and all who loved them. This morning I’m not only thinking of them- but the officers impacted by this trauma. These are exceptionally difficult days, for our community, and our division. Let’s all give each other some grace and extra support as we move forward."
Anyone with information on what happened is asked to call Columbus police at 614-645-4730 or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-8477.
The girls' deaths are the second and third homicides in the city of Columbus in 2021.