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Apparent murder-suicide investigated in Oxford, officials say

Home where a man and a woman died in an apparent murder-suicide in Oxford Tuesday night.
Home where a man and a woman died in an apparent murder-suicide in Oxford Tuesday night.Erin Clark/Globe Staff

A man and a woman died in an apparent murder-suicide at a home in Oxford Tuesday night, and three children escaped the gunfire, Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. said.

“This is a tragic case of domestic violence,” Early said, speaking to reporters at the scene. “It appears to be a murder suicide.”

Three children were home at the time of the shooting at 234 Old Webster Rd., he said.

He credited a 13-year-old boy with saving his 4-year-old sibling by climbing through a window and escaping the house.

“The 13-year-old is a pretty courageous young kid,” Early said. “He took the 4-year-old in his arms, opened the window, and ran out the window to a neighbors house.”

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Police from Oxford and Charlton, as well as State Police, responded to the scene following multiple 911 calls around 5:18 p.m. Early said both the man and woman had separately called 911, with the woman’s call going to Oxford police and the man’s being rerouted to State Police. A neighbor also called 911 when the 13-year-old arrived at their home with his sibling.

An Oxford police officer who responded to the 911 call safely got a 3-year-old out of the home, Early said.

“Oxford police got there ... they got to the scene and didn’t know what they had at the scene,” Early said. “An Oxford police officer ran in, grabbed the child and ... brought that child to safety.”

Early said officers found the woman dead in the kitchen from an apparent gunshot wound. The man was found behind the home, also dead of an apparent gunshot wound, he said.

A gun was recovered from the home, Early said. The firearm was legal and both the man and woman were licensed to have firearms, he said.

The children were taken to the Oxford Police Department, he said. The state Department of Children and Family Services has responded and is providing trauma-related services to the children, according to Early.

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Early said the couple had three dogs, and police had previously responded to the home when one of the dogs got loose.

“We’re in the process of trying to determine the activity at this home as far as officers responding in the past to see if there is anything that could assist us with this investigation,” Oxford Police Chief Anthony Saad told reporters at the scene.

The father of the man who owns the home declined to comment when reached by the Globe Tuesday night.

No further information was immediately available.

This is a breaking news story that will be updated as more information becomes available.