NEW YORK: A Pakistani-American man shot and killed his wife and two sons before turning the gun on himself in what New York State Police investigators Friday described as a case of murder-suicide.
Police found the bodies of Abbas Lodhi, 49, and his son Zain Lodhi, 9, inside a car parked in the lot outside the A&P Supermarket in Pleasant Valley, about 75 miles from the New York City, on Thursday.
Police found a gun inside the car. That discovery led police to Lodhi’s home where they found the body of Lodhi’s other son, Mujtaba Lodhi, 13. He also was shot to death.
At the time, police did not know where Lodhi’s wife was. They believed Sarwat Lodhi, 43, may have been wounded and was in need of help, so they released her photo and asked for the public’s assistance in finding her.
“It’s a murder-suicide in which the father, Abbas Lodhi, apparently shot and killed his two boys and his wife,” New York State Police Captain John Ryan said.
Ryan, head of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, said in a press conference Friday afternoon that the owner of a vacant home near the airport found Sarwat Lodhi’s body.
He said it was by a stroke of luck that she was discovered and that it would not have been visible overhead, where police were searching by helicopter since Thursday. Sarwat Lodhi also appeared to have died from a gunshot wound, police said.
Authorities are calling the deaths a “family tragedy.” Their investigation concluded that Abbas Lodhi carried out a triple murder and suicide.
The investigation into what was behind the killings was continuing with reviews of computer files, GPS records and other evidence, state police Trooper Melissa McMorris..
“I don’t believe we have a motive or a note yet,” she said.
Authorities say the parents moved from Pakistan during the 1990s and became U.S. citizens. Abbas Lodhi was a state-licensed pharmacist since 1993 and recently closed his pharmacy in Hyde Park, New York.