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Coroner confirms Joliet victims died in murder-suicide

Four people, including two children, were found dead in this house in the 500 block of Whitley Avenue in Joliet. | Eric Ginnard/Joliet Herald-News

Authorities have confirmed that four people killed Wednesday, including two children, died in a murder-suicide in southwest suburban Joliet.

Joliet police said that Brandyn Lee, 34, fatally shot his girlfriend, 28-year-old Jaquelon Gaskin and her kids, Gianna Lee, 6, and Giovanni Lee, 1, before killing himself.

An autopsy performed Friday found that all four people died from a single gunshot wound, the Will County coroner’s office said.

Officers responded to a call of people shot at 10:19 p.m. on the second floor of a house in the 500 block of Whitley Avenue and found their four bodies and a firearm, Joliet police said in a statement.

Police said they had no history of domestic calls from the residence. The investigation, which included evidence from the scene and witness testimony, found that Lee fatally shot all three victims before shooting himself, police said.

Giovanni Lee, 1, and Gianna Lee, 6. | Provided photo
Giovanni Lee, 1, and Gianna Lee, 6. | Provided photo

Gaskin’s mother, Rusha Brooks, told the Chicago Sun-Times that Gaskin had packed up her things and was planning to leave Lee. Gaskin had plans to study nursing, and had been with Lee for about 10 years, Brooks said.

“She was an excellent mother to her children. She was loved and adored by many and will be missed dreadfully,” Brooks said.

Gaskin had graduated from Joliet Central High School and was working as a day care assistant, Brooks said.

Jacquelon Gaskin, 28, of Joliet. | Provided photo
Jacquelon Gaskin, 28, of Joliet. | Provided photo

“Anytime a person is killed, it’s a heartbreaking situation. But when children are killed, it’s incomprehensible,” Joliet Police Chief Al Roescner said in a statement. “My heart goes out to the family of the victims.”

The Will County coroner’s office confirmed their identities and scheduled autopsies.

Anyone struggling with mental health issues can seek help by calling 911, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 or by texting “home” to 741741.

Contributing: Stefano Esposito