Days after an apparent murder-suicide involving a Lansdowne couple, the focus has turned to helping the surviving family members.
Loudoun deputies were called to the Winmeade Drive townhouse in the Lansdowne Town Center about 9 p.m. Sunday after a neighbor called to report the suspected suicide. At the scene, deputies found two residents inside, both dead from gunshot wounds. Investigators believe Andre T. Howell, 40, shot and killed his wife Naomi, 39, and then took his own life.
The couple, who purchased the Lansdowne condo in 2008, had two daughters—a 21-year-old who lives in Virginia Beach and a 5-year-old who lived with them. Sheriff’s Office spokesman Kraig Troxell said it was unclear whether the child was in the home at the time of the shootings.
It has been reported that the couple was having marital difficulties. Troxell said there were no previous domestic-related calls to the home.
County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large), who knew the couple, encouraged friends and neighbors to rally around their children.
“When something like this happens, the responsibility of the community is not to judge the family, but to come together and support the survivors and the loved ones,” she said Tuesday. “I say to everyone, if you ever think that there could be something going on, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions. I think sometimes just because we’re all trying to mind our business, we don’t want to impose or ask questions. In the end, let’s just support their daughters.”
Friends of the family have established a Go Fund Me page to help raise money for the couple’s funeral expenses and to establish an education fund for the children.