A Cincinnati-area family has been struck with tragedy twice in less than a year after two separate shootings claimed the lives of a mother, father and three of their children.
On Friday morning, Cincinnati police found Darlene Flores, 38; Eric Johnson Jr., 19; and Rodrigo Johnson, 16, dead in what authorities described as an apparent double-homicide and a suicide.
Officers were called around 5:30 a.m. to the family's Avondale home at the 3600 block of Canyon Drive for a report of a person who was possibly deceased, police said. When police reached the scene, they found the mother and two sons unresponsive and each had suffered a gunshot wound.
Cincinnati Fire Department personnel, who also responded to the scene, determined all three to be dead.
Police have yet to identify which family member was the shooter.
Police: Father shoots daughter, himself during SWAT standoff
Less than six months before the shooting in Avondale, Eric Johnson Sr. shot and killed his 6-year-old daughter, Iyla Johnson, before turning the gun on himself, according to the Mount Healthy Police Department.
Mount Healthy officers were dispatched to the Lake of the Woods Apartments on Aug. 21 for a dispute involving a custody exchange, according to the department.
As officers entered the apartment, they heard a gunshot from a second-floor bedroom but were unable to get inside because the room was barricaded from within, police said.
Police said additional shots were fired as officers attempted to force entry. The officers then called for a Hamilton County SWAT team.
The SWAT team broke into the bedroom after attempts to communicate with Johnson Sr. were unsuccessful, police said. Once inside, they found him and his daughter dead of gunshot wounds.
Iyla's obituary lists Flores as her mother and Johnson Jr. and Rodrigo Johnson as her siblings.
Police have not said whether there is a connection between these shootings. The Enquirer has requested documents from the police departments in Cincinnati and Mount Healthy.
'It's hard to process'
Timyone Andrew and Beamer Walker, both 18, said they played football with Johnson Jr. at Roger Bacon High School. The pair described the Johnsons' and Flores' house as a second home.
"We spent Christmas together, we'd have matching outfits, took family pictures together, like, this was really like a second family," Andrew said while standing across from Canyon Drive as a police cruiser blocked off access to the street. "It's like not being allowed in your home."
Andrew and Walker said Iyla's death was extremely difficult on her family.
"When I pull up here, I'm ready to see my boy. I expect to see my boy," Andrew said of Johnson Jr. "Now that I can't, it's hard to process."
Anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts can call or text the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988, or 800-273-8255 any time day or night, or chat online at https://988lifeline.org/chat/.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Shootings less than 6 months apart kill 5 members of local family
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