ALLEN, Texas - Allen police say a family that lost their 4-year-old daughter in a drowning earlier this month was found dead after an apparent murder-suicide on Monday. Police believe the drowning was a factor in the murder-suicide.
Police found the bodies of the four family members inside their home on Aberdeen Drive in Allen on Monday morning. The Allen Police Department says it was a shooting they describe as a murder-suicide.
Police were called to the home by a concerned family member who was locked out of the home for two hours and could not get anyone to answer the door.
Neighbor Jacqueline Soto says that the family member was a grandmother.
"She was just really distraught," recalled Soto.
Police say shortly after, more family members showed up.
"Just trying to, I guess, control the grandmother who was incredibly upset herself," said Soto.
Eventually, police made it inside the home and found the four bodies. Police have not said who was the shooter.
Pastor Etchu Etchu lives nearby. He saw Monday's police presence and wished he had seen warning signs to help the family.
"We don’t know anything," said the pastor.
Allen Police confirmed bodies found in the home belong to father Farman Sherwani, mother Layla Sherwani, 12-year-old son Shaheen Sherwani and 2-year-old son Mateen Sherwani.
Allen ISD confirmed that one of the victims was a fifth-grade student at Olson Elementary.
The school sent a note to parents on Monday evening saying they had been informed of the "unexpected death" of a student. Counselors were available at the school on Tuesday.
Police also confirmed the family lost their 4-year-old daughter Lyian Sherwani to a drowning earlier this month. While the specifics of that incident are not clear, police say the drowning was a factor in Monday's murder-suicide.
"It was just really sad and really hard. I think all of us just kind of felt for the family," said Soto.
The Islamic Association of Allen hosted a funeral for the four family members Tuesday evening.
Abdul Rahman Bashir is the religious director or imam at the mosque. He says the family were members of the congregation.
"This is definitely news that no one is ready to wake up to hear, let alone the family members, but even for the congregation members who perhaps didn’t even know them," he said. "From what my understanding is they were a close-knit family. Few siblings lived on the same street within walking distance of each other."
Bashir says the family was already going through a rough situation with the drowning of their daughter.
"In this type of situation, it’s not easy for any family. In spite of having many family members here, they were really broken," he said.
Two years ago, Bashir says the congregation experienced the loss of a family of six also to murder-suicide.
"Obviously, it’s something that really punches the gut of the entire community, especially since we experienced something like this not too long ago," he said.
Bashir says there will be mental health programming for members of the congregation throughout the week.
"This is a message I’ve been telling the congregation for a while now. If there is something that is bothering you, please reach out to someone," he said.
The family has asked for privacy.
Bashir said everyone can help by being there to listen in someone’s time of need.
If you or someone you know is in distress, there's always help available. Just call 988, the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Help is available 24/7.