Police: Mom shoots boy, 11, then kills herself - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

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Police: Mom shoots boy, 11, then kills herself

The residence of Tara Kelleher who shot her son and killed her 11-year-old son Saturday ( Credit: KMOV) The residence of Tara Kelleher who shot her son and killed her 11-year-old son Saturday ( Credit: KMOV)
BARNHART (KMOV.com) -

The 11-year-old shot by his mother in Jefferson County early Saturday morning has died, according to the sheriff’s office.

Just after midnight Saturday, deputies were called to the 7200 block of Valley Drive in Barnhart, where they found 49-year-old Tara Kelleher and her 11-year-old son, Sammy Schweitzer, both suffering from gunshot wounds.

Investigators told News 4 that Kelleher entered her son’s room and shot him in the head before turning the gun on herself.  The gun belonged to Kelleher’s fiancé, who was asleep inside the home during the shooting, officials said. He was interviewed as part of the investigation and is not considered a suspect.

Police said both victims were taken to an area hospital, where Kelleher was pronounced dead shortly after the shooting. Her son, Sammy Schweitzer, was listed in critical condition immediately following the shooting. He was pronounced dead shortly after 5 a.m. Monday.

Windsor C-1 School District issued a statement Monday afternoon:

While this student was new to our District, the recent events that have taken place are tragic and will deeply impact our school community. The District is working with various local support organizations to provide resources to our staff and students who were personally affected. Above all, our heartfelt thoughts and condolences go out to the student's family and loved ones.

The school district sent an email to parent of students at the middle school to notify them of Schweitzer's death and to provide tips to help their children cope with the loss.

"I just can't wrap my head around what goes through parents minds with they do this. I don't know what to say, I don't know what to feel. I don't know what to think about it," said Kristina Watson, parent of a middle school student;

Neighbor Bill Martin said the family had moved into the neighborhood last month.

“I didn't really know the people. It’s so sad,” he said. 

Martin said he didn’t hear the gunshots but is shocked something like this would happen on their quiet street.

“My dog [were] going nuts, I was worried my little boy would get woken up,” said Martin. “That’s the sad thing, my son is the same age as that little boy was and the neighbors have a little girl the same age in school with him.”

Det. Brian Taylor from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department said that Kelleher had no prior criminal history or history of drugs and alcohol that would have been a red flag.

“We’d like to know why. Were there some warning signs that maybe people didn’t see from this tragic event or can we maybe educate people from this,” said Det. Taylor said. “But, right now we don’t have those answers and it’s frustrating.”

According to authorities, the mother didn’t leave behind a note but investigators are searching social media and her phone for answers.
The investigation is still ongoing

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