Four young people were found dead at a house in Everett, Mass., early on Thursday, after friends at the residence reported hearing screaming and yelling early that morning.
The bodies of three teenage girls, aged 16, 17 and 19, were found in a front bedroom, and a male and female adult were found dead in a second bedroom, authorities said.
Police believe all four were killed at the same time, and that the suspected assailant, 29-year-old Quentin James Cruz, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home in nearby Lynn.
Police would not reveal information on the circumstances of the deaths, but Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said in a statement that an autopsy would be conducted on the victims.
Officers received an emergency call from people at the house, which is located near a residential complex of townhouses, a day after a Friday night sleepover, according to the local Everett Patch newspaper.
News of the killings sparked a wave of concern across the community. The senior police officer in the district, Sgt. Trent Duda, was forced to shut down social media sites including Facebook and Twitter.
“The chief of police and I were dispatched to a very tragic situation today and it occurred outside our community,” said Rep. Kay Khan, a Democrat who represents the district. “We are all deeply saddened to hear about this tragedy.”
He added, “I know the investigators will work as hard as they can to find out what happened and how this might have happened.”
The victims, whose names were not released, had moved to the neighborhood this year, according to Patch. Neighbors said the house was owned by a family that lived there temporarily before moving to Lynn.
Traci Beck, another resident, said on Facebook that the site where the bodies were found was a large house where children often slept at night.
“Thnx 2 all my FB fbidys for checking on those girls,” she wrote. “Their families are in my thoughts. Thanks for worrying too.”