Police identify victims found dead in Platte County home

Detectives investigating as murder-suicide

PLATTE COUNTY, Mo. —The Platte County Sheriff's Office said a Sunday night gathering turned deadly at a home outside of downtown Parkville.

A 14-year-old girl escaped the gunfire around 9:15 p.m. and led police to the house near the intersection of NW Nevada St and NW 63rd Street in the Thousand Oaks subdivision.

“She got out of the house. When she left the father and everyone else was still in the residence between the kitchen and the dining room,” a dispatcher said in scanner traffic captured on Broadcastify.com

Platte County Sheriff Mark Owen said his deputies found the teenager who told them that her father Douglas Pauling, using a long gun, shot and killed her mother, Margaret Girard, 49, her grandmother Sharmalee Pauling, 73, and her grandmother’s husband Carl Deruyscher, 66. 

Deputies said the 50-year-old then turned the gun on himself.

“It’s an unfortunate event as this is an outstanding neighborhood,” Owen said. “It’s very quiet, we don’t have these types of problems as you well know, and this is a shock to the whole community.”

Investigators spent Monday afternoon at the home of the alleged gunman on the 10500 block of NW 57th Terrace in Kansas City. It’s where neighbors told 41 Action News Douglas Pauling lived at one point with Girard and their daughter. 

“I feel really bad for the daughter; she didn’t ever really say that he was abusive or anything,” McKenna, who went to school with the teenage girl, said.

McKenna added about two years ago the girl and her mom, who most people knew as Maggie, moved out.

“She just said that they weren’t getting along,” McKenna said.

The motive of this murder-suicide remains under investigation.

Chuck Stockman, who's lived in the neighborhood for more than a decade, said the news is shocking.

"Nothing like that has ever happened at Thousand Oaks," Stockman said. "We've been here 13 years, never had any problems in the area.”

Captain Jeffrey Shanks with the Platte County Sheriff's Office said a S.W.A.T. team was called in after the witness said she saw someone with a rifle. 

"Honestly, this time of year we get a lot of shots fired calls that end up being fireworks," Shanks said. "This is one where we actually had someone that stated they saw a rifle during the incident, so that caused an immediate elevated response.”

Law enforcement took the teenage survivor into protective custody as she waited for relatives to arrive from out of state.

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