The bodies of six people were found inside a home in Allen, Texas, early Monday morning in an apparent mass murder-suicide, police say.
Sgt. Jon Felty with the Allen Police Department said Monday afternoon that the police were asked to perform a welfare check on behalf of a friend of a suicidal young man who lived at the home.
Felty said officers arrived at the home on the 1500 block of Pine Bluff Drive at after 1 a.m. and soon found the bodies of six people inside the residence. Those people were identified Monday afternoon by police as 54-year-old father Towhidul Islam; 56-year-old mother Iren Islam; 77-year-old grandmother Altafun Nessa; 21-year-old Tanvir Towhid; and 19-year-old twins Farbin Towhid and her brother Farhan Towhid.
Felty said the two brothers apparently entered into a suicidal pact to end their own lives and take their family with them based on a link to a lengthy letter posted on one of the boys' social media pages that described in detail what took place and how the boys arrived at their decision.
In the letter, the boys said they both were clinically depressed and hoped to spare their family any grief over their suicides by taking their lives first by shooting them before killing themselves.
"I've been here 21 years in Allen. We have never had an incident like this in the 21 years that I've been here. So, as you can imagine, it's just a tragedy. There's no other way to describe it," Felty said. "It's a tragedy that you just can't imagine. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members and friends and we're just very sorry that this event occurred."
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It has not been confirmed when the deaths took place, but police believe they may have taken place on Saturday night based on evidence found in the house. Felty said the investigation into the deaths is ongoing. He added that none of the neighbors reported hearing anything and that there were no reports of any gunfire in the area.
Felty said the family emigrated from Bangladesh and has no known relatives in North Texas. He said police did locate some family members in Florida.
Stunned neighbors and family friends gathered throughout the day as investigators, wearing protective gear, walked in and out of the house.
“The family is a very nice and happy family. They were always making fun of everything. We don’t understand this," said friend Deelra Hassan. "We are very shocked. Very shocked."
The only known contact the family had with the police was a call in 2018 where they reported someone had rung their doorbell and disappeared and they wanted it investigated.
Family friends stress this act does not reflect their Muslim, Bangladeshi culture or the boys they knew.
“They were always jolly and talking,” said friend Mizan Raham. “I don’t know behind the scenes what happened, but this is really, really devastating for the whole community.”
Police would not confirm more details found in the letter, including how many guns were used in the shooting. However, police did confirm late Monday afternoon that the 21-year-old brother was able to legally purchase a gun recently.
Late Monday, the University of Texas said Farhan Towhid withdrew from school in January. The university called the news about his death "devastating" and extended sympathies to family and friends.
In a Facebook post directed at "community members," the Islamic Association of Allen said it was "shocked and devastated by this horrific tragedy."