911 tapes released in St. Charles shooting

SHARE 911 tapes released in St. Charles shooting

A memorial outside the St. Charles condo where three people were fatally shot and a fourth was wounded. | Mitch Dudek/Sun-Times

A father shot and killed his two daughters and shot their mother in her leg before turning the gun on himself, St. Charles Police said on Sunday, ending two days of public speculation into what happened inside a fourth-floor condo just off the main drag of the far western suburb.

The revelation was accompanied by the release of dramatic, near simultaneous 911 calls made Friday evening by Randall Coffland, 48, and his wife, Anjum Coffland, 46, that laid bare the carnage.

“I just shot and killed my two kids and I shot my wife, and I’m going to kill myself now,” Randall Coffland told a dispatcher.

“What address are you at?” the dispatcher asked.

Coffland offered up his address before reiterating his intention.

“I’m going to kill myself now too. My two girls are dead, and I’m killing myself.”

“Sir, stay on the line with me. . . . Sir? Hello?” the dispatcher said to no response.

He can also be heard shouting, apparently to his wife, “I want you to live and suffer like I did.”

Another 911 dispatcher fielded a call from Anjum Coffland, who had been shot in her leg but survived the encounter.

“Come here now! Oh my God, my husband shot my kids!” Anjum said.

“My daughters are dead!” she screamed.

Police arrived at the homein the 400 block of South First Street and found Randall Coffland and his twin 16-year-old daughters, Brittany and Tiffany, dead, authorities said.

Each of them died of a single gunshot wound to the head, the Kane County coroner’s office confirmed on Monday. Randall Coffland’s wound was self-inflicted, authorities said.

St. Charles Deputy Police Chief David Kintz released the audio of the 911 calls at a Sunday afternoon news conference.

Kintz said he didn’t know what caused the shootings. Detectives had interviewed Anjum Coffland, who was still hospitalized Sunday, but Kintz said the investigation was ongoing and he was unable to provide a motive.

Two 9 mm handguns were found in the condo. One was found near Randall Coffland’s body; the other was in a closet. He had a firearm owner’s identification card, police said.

Randall Coffland worked as an IT manager at a Chicago law firm, according to his LinkedIn page. His wife previously worked in the Kendall County Recorder’s office but had been employed as an insurance claims adjuster since September 2015, according to her LinkedIn page.

Officers had been called to the home on one previous occasion, on Feb. 9, after a report of domestic trouble that did not involve physical abuse, Kintz said Sunday. He was unable to provide additional detail.

Randall Coffland lived at the condo with his daughters. Anjum Coffland lived in a separate apartment in St. Charles, Kintz said.

Police initially did not say whom they thought the shooter was, though investigators said there was no danger to the public.

The initial lack of details unsettled nerves in the quiet town about 40 miles west of Chicago where the last homicide, a stabbing, happened in 2008.

Gabrielle Willaert, 17, who was in an honors English class with Brittany at St. Charles East High School, said Sunday that Brittany would share occasional glimpses of a troubled home life.

“I didn’t really think much of it. A lot of teenagers think their parents are crazy,” Willaert said, fighting back tears. “And she would always talk about how she didn’t know if she could get her assignments done because she wasn’t having a good home life.”

“But she stayed so strong, you could tell how much she was hurting . . . there was just something about her, you knew she had been through a lot. . . . She just felt like no one cared and all my friends in English tried to make her feel like she was cared about,” she said.

Despite her own struggles, or perhaps because of them, Brittany always sought to comfort and care for others.

“If anyone was having a bad day, it would be her priority to make sure they were OK, even if she didn’t know them,” Willaert said.

“She had the biggest heart. She would ask every day how my life was going,” Willaert said. “She was nonstop smiling.”

“I can’t believe that something like this would happen to such beautiful people,” she said.

Dan Lasse, who works on the same block where the shooting happened, paused in front of the memorial Sunday afternoon. “Like everyone else, you wonder if you could have done something to have made a difference,” he said.

After learning of the 911 tapes, classmate Chloe Frankowski, 16, struggled to make sense of the situation as she visited the memorial.

“This doesn’t happen in St. Charles,” she said. “It’s insane. It doesn’t seem real.”

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