What was originally reported as a possible hazmat scene with a threat of gas, turned out to be a tragic murder-suicide at the hands of the husband and father of three children.
Police have announced they are now investigating the deaths of the central Phoenix family of five as a murder-suicide. Three children are among those killed at what police believe was at the hands of their father, 44-year-old Jasen Michael Hudgens.
Hudgens allegedly killed his wife and three young children before taking his own life at their Phoenix home near Seventh and Northern Avenues Wednesday morning, authorities said Thursday. The suspect died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The victims have been identified as his wife, 40-year-old Marla Jordan Hudgens, and their three children, a 3-year-old boy Christopher Hudgens and 6-month-old twin girls Gwen and Faye Hudgens.
A 911 call around 8 a.m. Wednesday, led to police, firefighters and hazardous materials teams being to the home. Police reported an open propane tank and gas line detached from a kitchen appliance was located inside the house.
Because of the concern over a possible gas presence, it took investigators several hours before police could enter the home.
Ken Van Winkle, Jr., a managing partner at Lewis Roca, where Marla Hudgens was employed, released the following statement:
“We are overwhelmed with grief at the loss of our friend, colleague and partner, Marla Hudgens, and her family. We are in complete shock and are only just beginning to process this awful tragedy. Marla was a passionate lawyer and advocate for her clients. She was an equally passionate leader who worked tirelessly to make our firm a better place. But more than that, Marla was a loving mother and loyal friend. The impact of this loss on the community and on our firm is immeasurable.”
Detectives are investigating as to what led up to the incident.