UPDATED: Elderly couple dead in murder-suicide

PAPD

A Port Arthur elderly couple is dead after what police are calling an apparent murder-suicide.

The couple has been identified by Port Arthur Police as John and Patricia Knight, both 76 years of age, and residents of Port Arthur.

The couple's son discovered his parents' bodies Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 24, around 4:15 p.m. in their residence, located in the 7600 block of Golfhill Drive in Port Arthur, Sgt. Scott Gaspard of PAPD said.

"It's my understanding that he tried to make contact with them. He couldn't make contact with them and went over to check on them and that's when he discovered them," Gaspard said.

Port Arthur police responded to the scene and found that both the husband and wife had suffered gun shot wounds, and it appeared one of the subjects had shot the other before turning the gun on him/herself, Gaspard said, adding that there were no signs of a burglar or outside assailant.

"There were no signs of forced entry," Gaspard said. "We examined the entire house. There were no signs of a burglar ... nothing was disturbed. All of their items of value were in place — the purses, the wallets, the checkbooks, the credit cards were all there."

The positioning of the bodies and murder weapon made it unclear as to whether the husband shot the wife or vice versa, Gaspard said.

"There was no conclusive evidence to say who (shot whom)," he said.

Gaspard also said that neither family members nor neighbors noticed the Knights exhibiting any unusual behavior or arguing leading up to the murder-suicide and there were no signs of a struggle at the murder scene.

Gaspard said he couldn't specifically release the exact illnesses the Knights were suffering from, but did say confirm that the husband and wife had medical issues.

"They both had normal health problems for 76-year-old people," Gaspard said. "When we see elderly individuals take their own lives ... a lot of times, there are underlying health issues that we believe may had contributed and that's the same in this case."

Justice of the Peace Mark DeRouen ordered an autopsy and the couple's bodies were taken to the Jefferson County morgue, where Gaspard said the coroner would look for manner and means of death, types of injuries, common and uncommon gunshot wound patterns like stippling and tattooing and contact wounds to try and better determine what exactly happened in the killings.

He also added that although there were no signs that drugs or alcohol as a factor in the murder-suicide, a toxicology report would be ordered as part of standard procedure.

"There was nothing at the scene that led us to believe that (drugs or alcohol) was a factor," he said.

Investigators are awaiting results from the autopsy.

"Right now it's not being investigated as anything other than a murder-suicide," he said. "We don't think there was a third party involved." 

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