On Friday, a mother and her three children under 10 years old were found dead at their home from gunshot wounds.
Michigan's community mourns the death of a mother, her children and their home after they were shot in the head.
According to the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office on Friday, authorities responded to a call about a man carrying a gun and shots being fired at Mecosta Township's residence. Officers arrived at the scene to find three children under 10 years old and their mother dead.
Mecosta County Sheriff's Office released Monday a statement confirming that the three young siblings were identified as 6-year old Katelynn Gillard (4-year-old Ronald Gillard, and 3-year-old Joshua Gillard." Their mother, Dawn Gillard, 40, was also shot to death. The gunshot wound to her head is believed to have been caused by the 51-year old male who turned on their father.
According to the MCSD, the man was taken to Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital. He was then transferred to Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids. Finally, he was transferred to University of Michigan Hospital where he remains in critical condition.
Sheriff Brian Miller stated that the male's identity is being withheld until he was arrested and formally charged. "In the immediate future, information will not be disclosed in order to jeopardize any future criminal proceedings and out of respect for the family."
"I am in total shock. Hailey Salisbury (half-sister to Dawn Gillard's three young children) said that she was devastated after hearing about the death of her family members.
Sheriff Miller said that it was very heartbreaking to see something so terrible happen in your community. There are no words to describe what happened.
"Almost everyone on the scene, including our first responders had children." Sheriff Miller shared his thoughts via the Associated Press.
Roger Coles, superintendent of Morley Stanwood Elementary School, where one of the children was enrolled, issued a statement Saturday. He also provided information about a vigil in her honor. Coles wrote in part that there are many emotions to deal and process in the wake of this tragic loss. We want to offer our Mohawk community and family a place to grieve, weep, pray, and begin healing.
At 7 p.m. Monday, a candlelight vigil will take place at the Morley Stanwood football fields. "Community members and their families can walk the track or sit in the bleachers to visit with friends and family, or just reflect quietly."