DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. — A man is in police custody Wednesday after he asphyxiated his two young children in a car at their home, shot and killed his two stepchildren and slashed and shot his wife.
The father called 911 around 1 a.m. ET, saying he had just killed his family at their suburban home about 10 miles southwest of downtown Detroit, said Lt. Michael Krause of Dearborn Heights Police. When officers arrived, the man was standing on the front porch and told them his family was inside dead.
Police quickly arrested the man and ran into the home to locate the children and his wife, Chief Lee Gavin said.
Officers found the two older siblings, a 17-year-old female and 19-year-old male, bound and dead in the basement from gunshot wounds, Krause said. Their mother, whom police believe is around 40 years old, also was found in the basement with multiple injuries.
"She had gunshot wounds and slashing wounds from a knife to her face and throat area," Krause said. The woman was transported to Oakwood Hospital in critical condition, Krause said.
Officers checking other parts of the home then found a 4-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy dead in their beds in a bedroom. Police said it appears the two children died from intentional carbon monoxide asphyxiation.
"They were asphyxiated in a car with a makeshift tailpipe hose that was redirected into the vehicle," Krause said. "And then they were taken from the car and back into their bedroom."
Officers tried to revive the two young children, Krause said. They were transported to Oakwood Hospital and pronounced dead.
Police are continuing to investigate a motive, but Krause said police believe the killings stem from some sort of marital discord. Court records show the wife filed for divorce in August.
The two teens are the woman's children from a previous relationship, but the young boy and girl were his biological children, Krause said. Police are interviewing the suspect and looking into his background.
A Gregory Vicente Green, 49, whose home address is the same as the homicide scene, was convicted of second-degree murder in March 1992, according to Michigan criminal history records. He was sentenced to 15 to 25 years in prison.
On Sept. 1, the state issued him a learner’s permit for a commercial driver’s license, according to the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office.
Dearborn Heights Mayor Dan Paletko, speaking near the home, called the killings “a tragedy in every sense of the word.”
Multiple investigators remained at the home and could be seen removing several items. Police and the medical examiner's staff wheeled one of the teen's bodies out of the home as neighbors watched in shock.
Neighbor Karen Radtke said the brutal attack horrified her.
"This is a quiet neighborhood," she said. "This is a very extremely sad situation. I just don't know what provoked him. I woke up and saw police cars and flashing lights everywhere. I came outside and that's when I found out what happened."
Radtke said she regularly saw the children playing outside with the family's dog. She said she recalls seeing the mother as well but said the father worked long hours and was rarely home.
She last saw the father Tuesday outside cutting the grass, Radtke said.
"I'd see her out there once in awhile," she said. "But those kids, they were just normal kids — just all playing. They had a little dog.
"The father? You'd never knew he was there until you saw his little car," Radtke said. "How could he do something like this, to kill four kids who were just beginning their lives?"
Radtke and other neighbors said the family just had a birthday celebration last week for one of the youngest children with balloons and ornaments decorating the house.
"A lot of of their friends and family were here," Radtke said. " Her family has to be so devastated. Let's hope she makes it."
Neighbor Ronnie Jones said he found out what happened when his neighbor, who lives across the street, called him around 2 a.m., asking why so many police were outside.
"I went outside and someone told me, 'It's your neighbor. He just killed his whole family,' " Jones said. "This never happens on this block. I'm shocked because they honestly just seemed like a regular family. They would have parties, and they just had two or three picnic things this summer. I've lived here a long time and never saw anything like this."
Contributing: Robert Allen, Detroit Free Press. Follow Katrease Stafford on Twitter: @KatreaseS_freep