Police: Man Killed Estranged Wife, Himself In Carmel Home

3 Children Were Home At Time, Police Say

Police are investigating the fatal shootings of a woman and her estranged husband in a Carmel condominium as a murder-suicide.

Carmel police said the bodies of Aaron Saunders, 46, and Suzanne Saunders, 50, were found Tuesday morning in a home at the Traditions on the Monon in the 900 block of 3rd Avenue, near 136th Street and Rangeline Road, 6News' Julie Pursley reported.

"Both bodies appeared to have gunshot wounds. A handgun was found in close proximity to the deceased male," Carmel police Lt. Jeff Horner said.

Police rushed to the home about 6:45 a.m., when the oldest of Suzanne Saunders' three children, boys ages 16 and 11, along with a 12-year-old girl, heard gunshots and called 911.

"(The children) were at home getting ready for school when their stepfather stopped by the house," Horner said. "They heard an argument break out between their mother and stepfather."

Soon after the argument began, the children heard the gunshots and heard their mother scream, police said.

Neighbor Debbie Edstrom described the horror of what she witnessed.

"I heard a woman scream, and I called 911, and I heard a young boy, a voice say, 'Mom!'" Edstrom said. "(The boy) had walked to the end of our building, and he met the police as they were coming into the complex and he was directing them to his house, and I heard him say it was his stepfather had come into the house and shot his mother."

Investigators said the boys ran out of the home after the shooting and that the girl hid in an upstairs room. They were not injured.

Shirley Cecil, the director of client services at Prevail Inc., an organization that helps the children traumatized by abuse in the home, said domestic violence deaths almost always involve a history of abuse.

"At some point it just started with maybe control issues or pushing and shoving. That escalated into an incident that happened today," she said.

Autopsies are planned.

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