Philly police say officer shot and killed wife, then himself

Kristen Johanson
July 08, 2019 - 12:58 pm
Sources say a police officer shot and killed his wife and himself in a home on this block in North Philadelphia

Kristen Johanson/KYW Newsradio

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UPDATED: 9:23 p.m.

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia police are investigating what happened when they say one of their own shot and killed his wife, and then turned the gun on himself. 

Police say the officer, Jose Rodriguez, was an 11-year veteran of the force. They say he did not show up for work Monday, so fellow officers stopped by his home for a wellness check but were unable to contact him.

Fire officials visited the home in the Juniata Park neighborhood after the officer's 17-year-old daughter called the police, saying she hadn't heard from her parents in a while. A fire crew knocked down the door and found a 36-year-old woman dead in the dining room with multiple gunshot wounds to her body.

The 39-year-old officer was found dead in the basement with a single gunshot wound to the head. Sources say the officer had just gotten off duty before the violence took place.

"Our heart breaks for this entire family," said Police Commissioner Richard Ross.

The same sentiment rippled along the quiet street, where neighbors were shocked to hear of a crime allegedly committed by a man they had known since he was a kid.

Family members began to appear at the scene by the afternoon, consoling each other, as officials continued to filter in and out of the house. They believe the murder-suicide took place some time overnight.

Residents described the man and woman as quiet, kind people. A source said the man and woman were not living together at the time of the murder-suicide.

The couple had three children. 

Ross noted this officer may have been struggling with mental health.

"We’re seeing an epidemic nationally with police suicides, but we’re hoping that officers, as well as civilian personnel — because they deal with a great deal of trauma that most people never hear or see as well — that they avail themselves of any help that they may need," he added.

It's a tragic day for the Philadelphia Police Department, as this incident also falls on the anniversary of fallen Officer Brian Lorenzo, who died in 2012 after his motorcycle collided head-on with a drunk driver on I-95.