By Asher Klein and Kirsten Glavin
Authorities have revealed how a family of three was slain at their home in Dover, Massachusetts, last week.
The Kamal family, Arianna, 18; Teena; 54; and Rakesh, 57; were found dead by a relative late Thursday at their large, festively decorated home on Wilson’s Way. Investigators hadn’t said who killed the Kamals until Tuesday, when the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office announced that Rakesh Kamal was found to have fatally shot his wife and daughter before killing himself.
The gun he used wasn’t registered to him and he didn’t have a license to possess it, prosecutors said.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), visiting www.thehotline.org or texting LOVEIS to 22522.
The determination was based on preliminary results of autopsies conducted on the family members, prosecutors said. The final autopsy report was expected to take several weeks to complete.
Testing on the weapon used in the shooting was also still underway Tuesday, but prosecutors said the gun appeared to be a .40-caliber Glock 22. Where the gun came from remained under investigation on Tuesday — prosecutors said police, whose investigation was still ongoing, had reached out to federal gun experts for help analyzing the weapon.
As for why investigators believe Rakesh Kamal committed the murder-suicide, prosecutors didn’t share any more information on Tuesday.
While an official motive for the killings hasn’t been announced, domestic violence is again at the forefront.
“It’s such a tragedy and each time we hear about a homicide and a homicide followed by a suicide, our hearts just go out to this entire community and to all of their loved ones impacted,” said Hema Sarang-Sieminski, the deputy director of Jane Doe Inc., a group specializing in domestic abuse and safety for all.
Sarang-Sieminski says this time of year can be difficult for many.
“Around holidays certainly as families come together, tensions rise, there certainly can be these kinds of trends that we see,” she says. “In Massachusetts there have been I believe now up to four homicides in the month of December related to domestic violence.”
She adds that the best thing people can do is to be vigilant for signs of abuse of power and control in relationships, to be active bystanders and community supporters.
“Certainly it can feel that it happens behind closed doors but more often than not, when we talk about domestic abuse, there is often this sense of it only happening within the home, but we are all part of larger communities,” she said.
Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey had previously said the incident was apparently a case of domestic violence, and that a gun was found near the body of Rakesh Kamal.
Arianna Kamal was a Middlebury College student, Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey said at a news conference Friday as he identified the family, and the prestigious Milton Academy released a statement confirming that she had graduated from the school this summer and “was a sweet, smart, kind young woman who was just beginning to realize her full potential.”
Her mother, Teena, was involved in the school as well, according to the statement — she served as head of the upper school’s parents association, and “was a committed and caring advocate for both parents and students at Milton.”
Middlebury sent a letter to the community Friday sharing “the tragic news” of Arianna Kamal’s death and more about the first year Stewart Hall resident.
She was in the College Choir, where she was beloved, according to its director, and visiting assistant professor of education studies Melissa Hammerle called her “a brilliant student” who was engaged, passionate and a beautiful writer.
School officials said a remembrance would be planned for Arianna Kamal after Middlebury students returned from their break.
There were no other members in the immediate Kamal family but they had relatives both in the area and abroad, Morrissey has said. Dover police responded to the large, festively decorated residence on Wilson’s Way around 7:30 p.m. Thursday after receiving a 7:24 p.m. 911 call from a family member who had stopped by to check on Kamals — they hadn’t heard from the Kamals in one or two days.
Police were still at the home Friday, when the deaths were announced. At a news conference that morning, Morrissey said there was no apparent threat to the community.
“There was no sign of any kind of a break in,” he said, adding, “I’m led to believe that it’s safe to tell you it’s probably a domestic issue incident.”