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Local News

Police: Man shot girlfriend, children before shooting himself

A man shot his girlfriend and their two children before shooting himself at their residence on Whitley Avenue, Joliet police said.

An autopsy revealed that Brandyn Lee, 34, Jacquelon Gaskin, 28, and their two children, Gianna Lee, 6, and Giovanni Lee, 1, each died from a single gunshot wound, police said in a news release Friday evening.

“From the evidence collected at the scene and witness statements, the investigation has led detectives to the determination that Lee fatally shot all three victims before shooting himself,” police said.

The investigation revealed that “there were no previous police-related contacts at the residence for domestic issues,” police said.

Police officers were called about
10:20 p.m. Wednesday to the 500 block of Whitley Avenue after receiving a report of people who had been shot.

When the officers arrived, they found Lee, Gaskin and her two children dead on the second story of the residence. A firearm was recovered from the scene and police believe the firearm was used in the apparent murder-suicide.

“These are the worst types of calls that officers can respond to. Anytime a person is killed, it’s a heartbreaking situation, but when children are killed, it’s incomprehensible. It is something that
I will never understand. My heart goes out to the family of the victims,” Joliet Police Chief Al Roechner said in an email.

Rusha Brooks, Gaskin’s mother, said her daughter and Lee were in the midst of ending their relationship.

“I believe they were breaking up because my sister said she received a Snapchat from her, ‘Hey,’ [and a picture of] packed boxes, like good riddance to bad rubbish,” Brooks said.

“Maybe that was the trigger,” she said

Brooks said if she had the chance to talk to her daughter again, she would encourage her to get away from Lee.

“I would tell her, ‘Leave’ or ‘Come here’ or ‘Tell me what’s going on if something’s wrong,’ ” she said. “ ‘Do you feel threatened or do you feel like your life is in jeopardy?’ ”

The tragic deaths have affected many people, Brooks said, including her 6-year-old daughter, who was close with 6-year-old Gianna.

“It’s going to be real hard in my house,” Brooks said. “She was loved by a lot of people.”

Herbert Brooks Jr., a Will County Board member and pastor, is the father of Terrance Brooks, who is the husband of Rusha Brooks.

Herbert Brooks said his family is “just shaken” by the tragedy.

“I think it’s just a very, very difficult time, the times we are living in,” he said.

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