It was just before midnight on Thursday when Missouri police received a chilling call.
“There are three dead bodies at Hoyt Drive, and I need police to respond,” a then-unidentified man said after calling 911, according to KMOV.
That’s what officers found at the home in Bellefontaine Neighbors, St. Louis County, once they opened the unlocked front door.
At first, they discovered the body of 31-year-old Dornubari Dugbor, who police told Fox17 had a self-inflicted gunshot wound and a 9 mm pistol. The man was on the living room sofa and holding the cellphone that made the ominous 911 call, police say.
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Police also found the bodies of 31-year-old Katrina Banks, Dugbor’s fiancee, and her son Kevin Johnson, 15, who was not biologically related to Dugbor. Both died from apparent gunshot wounds, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
But there was another person in the house, too: the 4-year-old daughter of Banks and Dugbor, according to the Post-Dispatch. Police say they found the little girl pretending to be asleep in her bedroom.
The girl told police that she walked into the living room after hearing gunshots, according to the Post-Dispatch, and Dugbor said she should go back into her bedroom. She returned to the room, police say, and heard “several shots” fired before everything grew quiet.
Police told KSDK that they believe Dugbor first shot Banks and then her son once he entered the room. Then the little girl entered the living room, police say, and the 31-year-old man called 911 and killed himself once she went back to bed.
Katrice Noble — the ninth-grade principal for Banks who became friends with the woman later in life — mourned the mother’s death.
“She was determined to be the best in the classroom, she was the student that her peers liked, she joined any activity that there was, she was that all around young lady,” Noble told KSDK. She added that Banks grew up to be “very determined, very committed.”
Banks and Dugbor got engaged in January, according to Fox17. Neighbors told the TV station that the apparent murder-suicide came as a shock.
“It’s a shame,” neighbor Miceala Redmond told Fox17. “I just would not expect it right here and then being so close to my home.”
There is no known motive for the killings at the time, police told the Post-Dispatch, and law enforcement has never been called to the house before. Officers took the girl to the hospital for an evaluation, and then she will be under the care of surviving family members.
“She was close enough to the event where she heard the gunshots and heard other scuffles,” Police Chief Jeremy Ihler told Fox17, “and talk during the event and (I) would imagine a 4-year-old is going to be scared from this type of event.
“I feel for her greatly.”