2 kids, father dead in murder-suicide; father had threatened suicide during previous attack

PREBLE COUNTY — A father who was found dead along with his two children in a murder-suicide had previously threatened to take his own life in 2015 during an assault involving his wife, according to Preble County Sheriff’s Office records.

Those who died in Monday’s shooting on Greenbush Road were identified as Shane Elliott, 40; Caleb Elliott, 13; and Grace Elliott, 10.

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Deputies responded to the home in the 9200 block of Greenbush after the mother of the children called deputies to report they hadn’t shown up to school like they normally would. The children’s mother does not live at the home where the suspected murder-suicide occurred, Simpson said.

“Further investigation determined that the father had not shown up at his place of employment,” Simpson said. “Deputies arrived at the residence and found the house secure and attempted contact with negative results.”

Shane Elliott was in the middle of a divorce from the children’s mother, according to online court records. He posted about the divorce on Facebook around 1 a.m. Monday. The social media post was the last known communication from him, according to a Preble County Sheriff’s Office report.

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The children had been staying with their father over the weekend.

“At this point, we’re not aware of anything occurring Sunday or over the weekend,” Simpson said. “It’s just tragic all the way around.”

The children and their father were found dead in the living room with apparent gunshot wounds after deputies had to force their way into the house, Simpson said.

Prior to Monday’s incident, deputies had arrested Shane Elliott for domestic violence in August 2015 after deputies said he assaulted the children’s mother.

“Shane then began choking (the mother) while telling her he was going to kill himself and make her watch,” an incident report obtained by News Center 7 read. “Shane then got up off (the mother) and started walking towards the closet, which is where he keeps his firearms.”

The 2015 incident, Shane Elliott said, was over Facebook and he admitted that he’d been “drinking quite a bit.”

“Both of his children...were upstairs but were not awaken by the fighting,” the report read.

The mother was able to get away from Shane Elliott and ran down the street to a neighbor’s house asking for help.

Caleb and Grace Elliott were students at Preble Shawnee Local Schools in the 4th and 7th grade.

“Our focus needs to be 100 percent on the family of these two students, and our students at Preble Shawnee Elementary and Middle School,” Superintendent Todd Bowling wrote in a letter to parents Monday.

The district said they will provide grief counselors at district schools for students struggling.

“We have a very supportive community,” Bowling said.

Family and friends are currently working on funeral arrangements for the children.