PLEASANT VALLEY, N.Y. (AP) – A pharmacist killed his wife and then used a shotgun to kill his two sons and himself in what state police called a “senseless tragedy” they still can’t explain.
Abbas Lodhi first shot Sarwat Lodhi, then killed 13-year-old Mujtabah and 9-year-old Zain, state police Trooper Melissa McMorris said Friday. His body and those of his children were found Thursday morning in their Dutchess County hometown, Pleasant Valley, a 90-minute drive north of New York City.
Sarwat Lodhi’s body was found Friday afternoon by a homeowner along a road 13 miles away in Wappingers Falls, McMorris said.
She said Abbas Lodhi, 49, and his sons died of gunshots to their chests and his wife, 43, may have been killed with the same weapon.
The investigation into what was behind the killings was continuing with reviews of computer files, GPS records and other evidence, McMorris said.
“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.
Police were still piecing together the series of events, but McMorris said Abbas Lodhi’s cellphone signal was placed near where his wife’s body was found at about 1 p.m. Wednesday, when their children were at school.
At about 8:30 a.m. Thursday, a worker in a supermarket plaza found the bodies of Abbas Lodhi and fourth-grader Zain in an SUV along with the shotgun. Mujtabah, an eighth-grader, was found at the family’s nearby home, authorities said.
“It’s heartbreaking,” McMorris said. “Most of us are members of this community. Most of us have children. It’s horrible.”
Nearby business owners who knew Abbas Lodhi told the Poughkeepsie Journal he worked hard and was a fan of soccer and cricket.
Jean McArthur, owner of Pay-less Oil and McArthur’s Wine and Liquors, said she learned three weeks ago that Lodhi was selling his business. She said he was “just an average guy trying to make a living.”
“I am really in shock,” she said. “That’s not the same person that I knew from working with him in the business community. We just don’t know what goes on behind closed doors in their home life.”
A photo of Sarwat Lodhi provided by police appears to be from the same image showing her with her sons that she used for her Facebook profile, which includes a number of friends in or from Pakistan.
The Arlington Central School District, where the boys were enrolled, said it was providing grief counseling for schoolmates and staff.