A Virginia man shot his wife before killing himself Sunday, according to police.
Deputies were called to a townhome community on Winmeade Drive in the Lansdowne area of Leesburg for a report of a suicide. When they went inside the home, they found 40-year-old Andre T. Howell and 39-year-old Naomi H. Howell dead inside.
He was a chief petty officer in the Navy, and she sang in the church choir, News4's Pat Collins reported. They were childhood sweethearts.
Local Pastor Michelle Thomas said the couple was having marital problems, but there was no sign of trouble in the hours before the deaths.
"He was very excited. He told me he was just preparing for the week," Thomas said. "This is absolutely shocking and devastating."
"At the time, things were going on, and people knew, but nobody knew how serious it was,” said Ivana Robinson, who said the Howells were like an aunt and uncle. “So it’s like you think that you could have changed something and it would have been different if you were more there and around.”
Thomas said the couple spent their last day together in church.
"If you're looking for rational explanations, we will never find one here. These were God lovers. This shouldn't have happened," Thomas said.
The couple had two daughters. One is away at college, but the younger girl, about 4 years old, was around during the incident, Collins reported. It is unclear what she may have seen or heard.
The incident remains under investigation.