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Nov 20, 2014 3:55 PM

Police: Woman, 3 children shot in New Jersey

The Associated Press

TABERNACLE, N.J. (AP) A shooting at a home in a secluded wooded area of southern New Jersey left two children dead and a woman believed to be their mother and the children's brother critically wounded, state police said Thursday.

Officials said they were not prepared Thursday afternoon to say whether the shooting in Tabernacle is considered a murder-suicide, but they did say there is no active search for a shooter and there is not believed to be a dangerous person in the area.

Police did not release the name of the victims, saying they need to reach next of kin first.

State police said they received a call from another relative in the home at about 9:15 a.m. reporting that the mother and children believe to be middle-school and high-school aged had been shot.

The woman had a single shot to her head; officials would not say where the children were shot. All were found in the same room, and a handgun believed to have been the only weapon used was found, police said.

The two survivors were taken to Cooper University Hospital in Camden.

Five other people live in the home, but authorities say none reported hearing any shooting. The reason for that was another issue that officials said they couldn't explain yet.

"It's going to be a long time before we know exactly what happened," state police Detective Geoff Noble said.

Authorities said all the other residents of the home had been accounted for.

The Burlington County community is located in the sparsely populated New Jersey Pinelands, about 30 miles east of Philadelphia.

Neighbors said they did not know the residents of the house and did not hear any commotion Thursday morning until troopers arrived and helicopters began hovering overhead.

"It's very quiet, peaceful," said Mike Watson, who has lived in the neighborhood for 25 years. "You can hear a pin drop."


Associated Press writers Maryclaire Dale in Philadelphia and Shawn Marsh in Trenton, New Jersey, and researcher Judith Ausuebel in New York City contributed to this report.


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