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Man and 3 children found dead inside car near Atlanta

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The scene at Lucky Shoals Park

Police are investigating a suspected murder-suicide after four people were found shot to death inside a car near Atlanta, officials say. Three young children are among those killed.

The scene was discovered just after 1 a.m. on Wednesday when a police officer found a suspicious vehicle while doing an area check at Lucky Shoals Park in Tucker, a city about 10 miles northeast of Atlanta.

Gwinnett County Police spokeswoman Michele Pihera said the four-door passenger car was found on a pedestrian trail at the park.

“The officer called out to the occupants but got no response,” she said. When the officer approached the scene, he saw four bodies inside the car. All of them died from a shooting.

On Thursday, the suspect was identified as Jose Plasencia, a 56-year-old man from Norcross. The victims were identified as 13-year-old Arianny Rodriguez, 11-year-old Chadal Rodriguez and 9-year-old Carlos Rodriguez, all from Atlanta.

Police spokesman Juan Madiedo said the killings happened while the mother of the children was at a local hospital with her fourth child, who was being treated for an unrelated injury.

“The mother and the suspected shooter are parents to the same child who was at the hospital,” Madiedo said. “He is not the father of the three victims and was not in a current relationship with the mother.”

Plasencia visited the hospital on Tuesday night and met with the woman and her children.

“After some time, the mother agreed to let the three children go with the suspect to grab a bite to eat while she remained at the hospital,” Madiedo said. Details about a possible motive were not immediately known.

The scene at the park (Credit: PD)

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