Friends and neighbors are searching for answers this holiday season after a murder-suicide in North Richland Hills, Texas. Rachel Dawson came home Saturday morning to discover the bodies of her children, Luke, age 9, and his sister, 5-year-old Bree, dead from a shotgun blast administered by her husband, Christopher Dawson, who turned the gun on himself after murdering his own children. "They've been putting up the Christmas lights," neighbor Tanner Franklin told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "You come out here and see them with the dad. They seemed normal, man."
The Dawsons were new to the neighborhood, having moved there from Phoenix, Arizona within the past several months. Dr. Christopher Dawson, age 36, began a new job as a surgeon at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Waxahachie on September 4 but was no longer employed there as of October 20. While they have yet to comment on why Dawson left after less than two months, Baylor Scott & White stated: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and all of those affected by this tragedy."
In an interview with NBC affiliate KPNX, a friend of the family said Christopher Dawson was "very, very controlling of Rachel to the extent that after a certain point he no longer allowed her to be friends with us." Ariel Borg says she befriended Rachel Dawson when they were neighbors in Phoenix. "We saw warning signs but I don't think anyone could have guessed that this would've happened. It shocked everyone," she said after learning of the murder-suicide.
According to the Star-Telegram, the Tarrant County medical examiner's office determined that Luke died from shotgun wounds to his head and torso, while Aubrey Dawson died from a wound to her head. Their deaths were ruled homicides, while Christopher Dawson’s was a suicide. Police say there were no prior calls to the house and that they are still trying to determine a motive.