The city of Coppell, Texas is stunned today after learning of the murder-suicide deaths of the city's mayor and her daughter. Mayor Jayne Peters shot and killed her 19-year old daughter Corinne, and then turned the gun on herself.
MSNBC reports that a note taped to the outside of the mayor's residence alerted police to what they would soon discover. When Mayor Peters didn't show up for a council meeting today, council members alerted authorities, since the mayor was never late for anything. The note found on the outside of the door told police they would be finding something unpleasant inside the home.
Authorities have said that the mayor used a semiautomatic handgun for the murder of her daughter and her own suicide.
Neighbors told the media that Corinne Peters graduated from Coppell High School this year. A classmate said she had been accepted at the University of Texas at Austin, andÂ several neighborsÂ said the mother and daughter seemed to be happy with each other.
CNN reporters say that Mayor Jayne Peters was 55 years old. Her husband died of cancer back in January of 2008.
Peters held the part-time position of mayor and also worked as a contract software developer. No one related to either of her jobs had any clue that something like this was about to happen.
Suicide in and of itself is a horrible thing for survivors to contend with. However, a murder-suicide adds insult to injury, because the suicidal party didn't have to take the other person's life. Just because Mayor Jayne Peters didn't want to go on living doesn't mean she had the right to make that decision for her 19-year old daughter.
I would fully expect that in the coming days we'll learn more about this tragedy, and I hope...especially for those surviving family members, that some answers will come to light.