PARKVILLE, Mo. -- A murder-suicide left four adults in the same family dead and residents of upscale subdivision Thousand Oaks afraid they might be next.
The victims are 73-year-old Sharmalee Pauling; her husband, 67-year-old Carl Deruyscher; and Pauling’s ex-daughter-in-law, 49-year-old Margaret “Maggie” Girard. Pauling’s son, 50-year-old Doug Pauling allegedly shot his family and then, according to police, took his own life.
It was a family dinner Sunday night with Pauling’s 14-year-old granddaughter and the child’s parents that turned deadly.
“He has a gun, and he has shot somebody,” a Platte County dispatcher told deputies in the field.
That information came from the frightened 14-year-old girl who narrowly escaped alive after her father shot and killed members of the family and also shot at his daughter. The teen was able to escape the house unharmed.
“She is not giving us an address. Her father had a gun and he shot, I believe, the grandmother and shot at her,” the dispatcher said. “She got out of the house when she left the father and everyone else were between the kitchen and the dining room.”
When the girl called 911, she didn't know where she was or her grandmother’s address. All 911 dispatchers knew that it happened in the 14000 block of Northwest 63rd Street.
“She was showing some signs of shock, and I can’t get into too much. She is a juvenile,” Platte County Sheriff Mark Owen said. “She is in our custody right now, and like I said, she is OK.”
Owen said when officers went into the home, they found all four adults dead from gunshot wounds. Police removed a long gun from the crime scene. Sources say it's the weapon used in this tragic murder-suicide that had the neighborhood of Thousand Oaks on edge Sunday night and Monday.
Neighbor Michael Coleman’s wife called him about 11 p.m. Sunday
“Kind of hysterical, I thought something happened to her,” Coleman said. “But she said police said there is a shooting, could be an active shooter, stay home, lock the house up, which I did. I basically locked the house up, got a baseball bat, stood looking out my closet window for an hour.”
Owen said social media rumors came close to interfering in their investigation and got blown way out of proportion, causing panic in folks who live nearby.
“It wasn’t called for, but this is a perfect example of people don’t know their facts,” Owen said. “I would ask people think through this before they use Facebook and Nextdoor and some of these that are fine apps but you can do a lot of harm and scare a lot of people all night that you don’t need to do.”
According to theknot.com, Sharmalee Pauling and Carl Deruyscher were just married two weeks ago. Pauling posted a wedding picture of the two of them as her Facebook profile picture.
Detectives spent most of Monday in Doug Pauling’s home looking for evidence and a possible motive.
The shooting was a surprise to Doug Pauling’s neighbors who described him as quiet and said, in the last few weeks, Girard’s car was at his house often.
“I leave early in the morning, 5 o’clock in the morning, and sometimes it is there. So I thought maybe they had gotten back together,” Dane Hunnicutt said.
Doug Pauling had recently been sued by Bank of America for a $6,000 debt he hadn’t payed.
A woman who said she's Doug Pauling’s ex-wife contacted FOX4’s Shannon O’Brien on Facebook saying, "Please be kind, mental illness is part of this.” She would not elaborate further and declined an interview.
Police do not have a motive for the shooting yet. The 14-year-old girl who was able to get away has provided helpful information and is now in police protective custody until out-of-town family members arrive in Kansas City.