West Des Moines Police said Monday afternoon that manner of death of Chandrasekhar Sunkara is suicide while the manners of death for Lavanya Sunkara and the two boys are homicide. “West Des Moines police continue their investigation into the Sunkara family deaths on June 15th,” West Des Moines Police said in a statement. “Forensic autopsies were conducted June 16th. The State Medical Examiner’s Office has determined the causes of death for all four family members to be gunshot wounds. The manners of death for Lavanya Sunkara and the two boys are homicide. The manner of death for Chandrasekhar Sunkara is suicide.”
Officials are working with surviving family members to provide support. Investigators are continuing to review evidence and conduct interviews, police said.
Chandrasekhar Sunkara 44 years old, Lavanya Sunkara 41 years old, a 15 year old boy and a 10 year old boy were pronounced dead at the scene. All four lived in the home.
Heavy.com reported that autopsies determined that Chandra Sunkara killed his wife and two boys before shooting himself.
A family friend from the Telugu Association of North America who wished to remain anonymous told the Times of India that Chandra had been severely depressed and there may have been a family dispute troubling him.
“This tragedy will impact family, friends, co-workers, anyone that new this family” Sergeant Dan Wade said in an earlier statement. “We are continuing to work through this investigation. We will follow through until we have answered as many questions as the evidence allows. We are confident, though, that there is no continuing threat to the community.”
Police said other family members, two adults and two children, were staying as guests. When the victims were discovered, one of the survivors ran outside looking for help. He found someone walking through the neighborhood and that person called 911.