Lexington Co. sheriff confirms details of quadruple murder-suicide in statement

Published: Jan. 3, 2017 at 8:24 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 3, 2017 at 10:36 PM EST
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LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - In a statement released Tuesday, Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon confirms Sunday's deadly shooting on Old Barnwell Road was a quadruple murder-suicide.

"Based on our investigation, Jorge Luis Chavez shot and killed his ex-girlfriend, Mariassa Reynoso, and their two children, Elijah and Ezra, with a 9mm semiautomatic handgun before taking his life with the same gun," said Sheriff Koon in a statement.

Koon later revealed that the handgun used by Chavez was stolen years ago. However, authorities have not been able to determine how he got the weapon.

Two Lexington County Sheriff's Department incident reports are beginning to paint a clearer picture in what may have happened in the months before an apparent murder-suicide took the lives of four people.

The sheriff's department released two incident reports on Tuesday showing that they responded to incidents involving Jorge Luis Chavez, 25, in November and December.

On Nov. 14, 2016, deputies were called to the home of Mariassa Hope Reynoso on Old Barnwell Road after she spotted Chavez in her driveway. The two were at one point a couple and lived together at the home with their two children.

"She advised that Jorge stated, 'I can't do this anymore, I'll see you in heaven,' and then showed her a rope that he had on the front passenger seat," the report said.

Reynoso and the sheriff's department attempted to contact Chavez but were unsuccessful.

Chavez again returned to the residence on Dec. 12, according to a second incident report, in an attempt to discuss his relationship status with Reynoso. Reynoso told the responding officer that he would not leave until she called 911.

Sheriff's deputies returned to the residence again on Jan. 1 after a shots fired call. When they arrived, they located Reynoso, Chavez, and their two children, Elijah Chavez, 4, and Ezra Chavez, 1, dead in the home.

The sheriff's department was initially seeking Chavez in connection with the case as a possible suspect.

"We knew he was connected to the individuals," Capt. Adam Myrick with the sheriff's department said. "We knew he was connected to that residence. So out of an abundance of caution, that's why we shared his name and his information. We had a very high presence here on this road. So we wanted the community to know what we were doing and why we were here and, ultimately, we wanted them to know that they needed to be mindful for their safety and we also did it because we needed their help."

However, after a continued investigation, the sheriff's department said the deaths were likely the result of a murder-suicide and that they were no longer searching for Chavez.

On Tuesday, the Lexington County Coroner's Office determined Reynoso died of multiple gunshot wounds to her chest. Her 4-year-old son, Elijah, died of a gunshot wound to the back and 1-year old Ezra died of a gunshot wound to the chest.

Jorge Chavez died from a single self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to Coroner Margaret Fisher.

An investigation in this case continues.

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