An employee of the Iowa Department of Public Safety, his wife and their two sons, who were found dead in their home in a neighborhood in Des Moines, were shot dead, investigators said Sunday.
West Des Moines police reported on the bodies of Chandrasekhar Sunkara, 44, Lavanya Sunkara, 41, a 15-year-old boy and a 10-year-old boy were found in their home on Saturday morning. Autopsies were pending to determine the official cause of death, but the police said all had gunshot wounds.
The Ministry of Public Security said Sunday that Chandrasekhar Sunkara, who was known as Chandra, was a civilian information technology expert at the agency's technology services bureau.
"Our hearts and prayers go to the family and friends of the Sunkaras," it said.
Shrikar Somayajula, co-owner and partner of A Grade Ahead, a non-school Enrichment Academy in Des Moines, said the boys, whose names were not published because they were teen, were star students who represented the school in national school competitions and "wanted to go to one of the elite Ivy League colleges".
The boys were "really smart kids, really downside," Somayajula told NBC partner WHO from Des Moines, adding, "The family was a very friendly family, so it's really painful."
in the Indian community, let alone a heinous act like this, he said. "We now have more questions than answers as to why this happened, and we'll probably never find out."
The police said other family members, two adults and two children, were home guests. When the bodies were discovered, one of the relatives went outside to seek help and found a passerby calling 91
No suspect was reported to be in custody, but police said she was confident that there was no threat to the community.