3 deaths in Bastrop believed to be murder-suicide

The Bastrop County Sheriff's Office believes the deaths of three people found in a rural home this past weekend is a case of a murder-suicide. Autopsy results have come back for the two victims in this case; their deaths have been ruled a homicide.

A domestic dispute at a rural Bastrop home quickly turned fatal.

"Violence is not the answer. Communication, understanding, patience, goes a long way to prevent tragedies that you cannot come back from," says Sgt. Arnold Gonzalez, supervisor of Persons Crimes Division, Bastrop County Sheriff's Office.

The news of this tragedy has traveled quickly through this small community, leaving many in shock.

"There's got to be more social programs or something that somebody can go to, to try to get away from that. I mean, why would you want to shoot somebody you love so much?" says Dan Kuehn, neighbor.

The shooting happened around 1:00 Saturday afternoon at 626 Oak Hill Cemetery Road. The Bastrop County Sheriff's Office responded to a home for a possible disturbance and welfare check, that's when they discovered three bodies.

They have been identified as 41-year-old Leroy Roger Friedel Junior, 32-year-old Jennifer Rutherford Friedel and 3-year-old Leroy (LJ) Rutherford Friedel.

"It is a tragedy and the community is hurting, as they will when we have bad stuff like this happen," says Sgt. Gonzalez.

Through collection of evidence, investigator's have came up with a working theory. They believe Friedel Junior shot his wife Jennifer multiple times, while outside the home, after what appears to be a domestic disturbance. One of those shots entered the home and struck his son in the head.

"You know he didn't want that to happen. In a fit of anger he wanted to kill his wife and he ends up shooting his kid, that's stupid. There's no sense in that whatsoever," says Kuehn.

Investigators believe at that point, Friedel Junior turned the gun on himself causing his own death.

The Bastrop County Sheriff's Office says tragedies like this one are sadly not uncommon.

"On a regular basis, too often. Once is too often but yes, on a regular basis," says Sgt. Gonzalez.

Friedel's autopsy results are pending but will determine if he did in fact die from a gunshot wound.
The investigation is ongoing.

Anytime FOX 7 reports on suicide, we like to provide an alternative for anyone contemplating the same. If you or a loved one is considering taking your own life, there is help. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255).

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