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Neighbors, community crushed after tragedy strikes well-loved family with ties to power

The tragedy of three cut short is breaking hearts from Cobb County to New York City to Atlanta City Hall.

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — The tragedy of a 58-year-old mother apparently taking the life of her own adult children before taking her own has shaken those who knew the family to their cores. 

Cobb County Police said they were called to a townhome on Nobilty Way Wednesday around 6 p.m. to conduct a welfare check. That's when officers apparently found 20-year-old Erin Edwards and 24-year-old Chris Edwards dead of gunshot wounds. Marsha Edwards, the pair's 58-year-old mother, was also dead of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound."

ORIGINAL STORY: 2 women, 1 man found dead in Cobb County townhome

The tragedy of three lives taken is breaking hearts from Cobb County to Atlanta City Hall to New York City. 

Talia Cartall lives next door to the Cobb County condo police visited Wednesday evening—a neighbor who’d gotten to know and appreciate the family.

"We didn't hear anything. There wasn’t any sign of any violence happening," she said. "The whole neighborhood, their family, I know, we’re all just in shock and disbelief."

"It’s unbelievable. And I cant stop saying it’s unbelievable. Because it’s really – yeah. It’s terrible," she added.

Marsha, the mother who allegedly fired the shots, has been married to Christopher Edwards, a surgeon who leads the Atlanta Housing Authority board. She also was a physician who owned a medical equipment supply company.

"A really nice family," Cartall said. "Children Erin and Chris just had exceedingly promising futures. Just really bright, nice, kind people."

Rachel Scheuerman, president of the neighborhood's Home Owners' Association,  said they are a close-knit community.

 “We’re a very small community, so we all know each other very well here," she said. “We’re devastated by this tragedy”

RELATED: Mother posted 'I could not ask for better children' before allegedly killing them

The deaths of Marsha, Chris and Erin have rippled right to the heart of Atlanta. The family was longtime friends with the Bottoms' family, and both of the young Edwards worked in the Mayor's Office - Chris as a Digital Content Manager for the Executive Office of Entertainment, and Erin as an intern with the Mayor's Office of Communication. 

Credit: Facebook

In a statement, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms offered the Edwards family condolences on behalf of her and her husband Derek. 

"Derek and I join the greater Atlanta community in mourning the loss of three members of the beloved Edwards family," she said. "Chris and Erin were beautiful, vibrant, and brilliant young adults, whom we had the pleasure of knowing their entire lives. They filled the lives of all who met them with joy, compassion, and kindness. May the peace of God, that surpasses all understanding, be with the Edwards family and all who had the honor to have known them.”

RELATED: He wanted to inspire others. His life was cut short by his mother, police say.

Meanwhile, WNBC where Erin also interned, called her a gifted and passionate storyteller. 

"Her enthusiasm was infectious and her smile lit up a room," said Benjamin Berkowitz, the station's vice president of digital, who also served as her supervisor. 

Credit: WNBC

"She was an incredibly decent, kind person who earned our admiration," he added. "Her talent was truly God-given. All of us at WNBC extend our condolences to Erin’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

The loss of all three, especially two young people with bright futures, makes what happened even harder for Cartall to comprehend.

"Fantastic, wonderful. Just bright people," she described. "Which makes it, yeah, a lot harder. To understand what went wrong. What happened. What caused this snap."


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