Jacquelon Gaskin and her two children, Gianna and Giovanni Lee, were reportedly murdered by her boyfriend, Brandyn Lee, before he took his own life at their home in Joliet, Illinois.
At around 10:20 p.m. on Feb. 27, 2019, deputies with the Joliet Police Department were dispatched to a home in the 500 block of Whitley Avenue after receiving a 911 call about a shooting, according to the Chicago Tribune.
When officers arrived, they went inside the home and discovered Lee, Gaskin, and their two children—Gianna, 6, and 1-year-old Giovanni—dead on the second floor.
A firearm was nearby.
The Will County Coroner’s Office determined that each family member died from a single gunshot wound.
An investigation revealed that when Lee and his girlfriend got into a heated argument, he fatally shot her and their children before turning the gun on himself.
Neighbors told investigators a woman screamed before they heard gunshots.
Prior to the incident, Joliet police said there was no history of domestic calls to the home.
It was reported that some of the victims’ family members were stunned after learning about the murder-suicide, as they believed Lee and Gaskin had a loving relationship.
Before Gaskin was murdered, she was allegedly planning to leave her 10-year relationship with Lee, which relatives believe was the motive for the murder-suicide.
Law enforcement officers did not confirm that information.
Gaskin was known as a doting mother who was studying to be a nurse.
Her mother told The Herald News in 2019 that if she had the opportunity to talk to her daughter again, she would tell her to “leave or come here or ‘Tell me what’s going on if something’s wrong. Do you feel threatened, or do you feel like your life is in jeopardy?’”
In an email, Joliet Police Chief Al Roechner said, “These are the worst types of calls that officers can respond to. Any time a person is killed, it’s a heartbreaking situation, but when children are killed, it’s incomprehensible.”
“It is something that I will never understand. My heart goes out to the family of the victims.”
Joliet police encourage those struggling with suicide, or if you know someone with this issue, to seek professional help by calling 911.
You can also contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 or by texting “home” to 741741.