- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 22, 2015

PLATTE, S.D. (AP) - Residents of Platte are dealing with mixed emotions after learning that the death of a family of six was a murder-suicide.

Authorities believe Scott Westerhuis fatally shot his wife and four children with a shotgun last Thursday, set their rural South Dakota house on fire, then turned the weapon on himself.

Hardware store owner Ken Lieuwen says “there’s anger at Scott, and disbelief that the family is gone.”

Tami Smit works at a coffee and wine shop. She has 10- and 13-year-old daughters who went to school with the Westerhuis children. She says they were already mourning the loss of their classmates when she had to tell them about the murder-suicide.

Smit says children in the community will need help dealing with the shock.


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