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Two children were forced to flee through a window in their Massachusetts home this week as police raced to the property where their parents were embroiled in a domestic dispute that escalated into what the local district attorney has called a murder-suicide.
Two police vehicles were dispatched to the home on Old Weber Road in Oxford after two separate 911 calls were placed by a man and a woman shortly before 5:20 p.m. After the first call from the woman came in, Oxford police also received a 911 call from a man at the same address; that call was rerouted to the Massachusetts State Police. Responding officers found the couple dead on arrival.
The deceased were identified in an email from the Worcester County District Attorney’s office to Oxygen.com on Friday as Jesse A. Brooks, 38, and 34-year-old Jamie A. Dickinson; their bodies were discovered in the backyard and the kitchen, respectively. Police said that they believe that Brooks shot Dickinson then turned the gun on himself.
After shots were heard coming from the home, a 13-year-old who was inside at the time carried their 4-year-old sibling through a window then ran to safety at a neighbor's home, Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said in a Wednesday press conference. A 3-year-old child was left in the home but was uninjured in the incident.
“This appears to be a tragic case of domestic violence within the house,” Early told reporters.
Both Brooks and Dickson had a license to carry firearms, Early told reporters on Wednesday.
Two of the three children in the home during the incident were the couple’s children together, while one was Dickenson’s child from a previous relationship. After the experience, they are now receiving trauma-related services, Oxford police said.
While police said that investigators are now trying to determine whether officers have previously responded to the home, neighbors told local news outlets at the scene that they have seen police at the home.
“It was very hard to watch,” neighbor Alex Clemens told CBS Boston. “I just wish I had gotten more, kind of, a sign from her that it was that serious.”
Clemens and another neighbor, Rich Linehan, told the station that the teenager is a hero for saving his sibling and escaping the violence.
“To actually do the right thing in that situation is hard when you only have a couple of seconds, and you know he did the right thing,” Linehan said.
The deaths are being investigated by Massachusetts State Police detectives, the MSP Crime Scene Services Section and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
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