Sheriff: 4 family members dead in unincorporated Crystal Lake domestic incident

Three females and one male, accused of being the ‘aggressor,’ were killed, police said. A fifth family member survived.

Officers from the McHenry County Sheriff and other departments investigate a domestic incident in which four people were killed on Wednesday Aug. 9, 2023, in the 5800 block of Wild Plum Road in unincorporated Crystal Lake. Police said they were family members.

Editor’s note: Read Thursday’s update on this story here.

Four family members, including three females and a male “aggressor,” were killed Wednesday at a home in unincorporated Crystal Lake, according to the McHenry County Sheriff’s office.

Sheriff’s deputies were called to the home early Wednesday in the 5800 block of Wild Plum Road after receiving a 911 call of a “single household member shooting their relatives,” police said. One female, who made the call to 911, survived the attack, but was seriously injured and being treated at a local hospital, Deputy Tim Creighton said.

Creighton spoke to reporters late Wednesday morning and declined to say how the people were killed, their ages or what weapon was involved. He said they all were household members.

A tweet sent from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office later Wednesday referred to the three dead females and the female who made the 911 call as family members.

In an earlier Facebook post, the Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded to “reports of multiple gunshots fired.” Deputies responded to the scene about 3:50 a.m. Wednesday, according to a news release.

Speaking with reporters, Creighton said the three females already were deceased when deputies arrived at the home. One male, whom Creighton described as “the aggressor” also was seriously injured and later died.

Sheriff Robb Tadelman said it was an isolated incident and there was no danger to the public.

The sheriff’s office, in conjunction with the Major Investigation Assistance Team, is handling the investigation, according to the release. While the majority of police vehicles at the scene were from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office, a Fox River Grove Police SUV arrived about 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Neighbors said they hadn’t heard anything overnight and awoke to see TV news crews along the street. They believed the residents at the townhome where the shooting took place were renters and that they had lived there for a number of years.

Larry Swanson, a resident who lives down the street, said the neighborhood originally was designed to be part of a golf course. The Prairie Ridge subdivision, where the townhome is located, is a mix of 53 duplexes and single-family homes along winding tree-lined roads.

Neighbors said the neighborhood was a quiet place. One resident, who declined to give her name, said that the neighborhood is friendly and routine falls off bicycles and scooters and other minor life mishaps are as bad as things generally get.

“Shock is probably the best word for it, unfortunately,” Pat, a neighborhood resident, said.

Neighbor Sage Brossard, 19, who lives two doors down, said she hadn’t heard anything happen overnight. She said she had never met the family but she understood there were multiple generations living in the home.

“This is crazy,” Brossard said. “I had no idea what was going on.”

Peggy Caldrone, a neighbor who has lived nearby in the subdivision since 2013 on the corner of Wild Plum and White Ash roads, said she had her window open and didn’t hear anything during the night. She said she woke up at 6:30 a.m. to see cars parked outside her window, referring to police and news vehicles.

“It’s surreal,” Caldrone said. “You don’t often wake up to crime tape outside your windows in the morning. It’s just not, like, real.”

She said her family called saying they saw her house on the news and asked if she felt safe living there, which she said she did.

“I feel totally safe,” she said. “It is a quiet neighborhood and they [all the people who live there] are so nice.”

She mentioned one neighbor who at the beginning of the Ukrainian war hung a Ukrainian flag and sold pierogies to neighbors to support Ukraine.

“So, this is just, like, not the norm,” Caldrone said.

Shamar Brossard, a former neighborhood association president, said she didn’t see or hear anything before the shooting either.

“My heart goes out to the family,” Brossard said.

Michael Stanish, a resident who goes for walks in the neighborhood, said while on a walk at about lunchtime Wednesday that no area is immune to violence.

“I’ve come to realize these things can happen anywhere,” Stanish said.

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