Amanda Guerra, NBC 5 News
A daughter's 16th birthday party turned into a nightmare in Grapevine when it ended with the murder-suicide of her parents.
A daughter's 16th birthday party turned into a nightmare in a Dallas suburb when it ended with her father killing himself and her mother.
It happened outside the front door of the girl's grandparents' house in Grapevine, Texas, where she, her mother and her brother were living.
Grapevine police say that the girl's father Kelly Suckla, 43, the estranged husband of the girl's mother Kristi Suckla, 44, came over to the house Saturday night for their daughter's birthday.
An argument and shots broke out, investigators said. Suckla shot and killed his estranged wife with a handgun, then killed himself.
The children and grandparents were inside the home and were not physically hurt.
Neighbor Donell Arseneau, who lived near the family when they lived in nearby Euless, Texas, took the news with tears.
"They would just come over, and we'd visit, and I'd been over there a few times," said Arseneau. "They'd have little parties on the weekends. They had just recently separated. Kristi hadn't been staying over there (at her parents') but for just a few weeks."
Arseneau called the couple "good people" who had recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. She was stunned that whatever problems the Sucklas had come to this.
"They never fought that I knew of. They got along so good," Arseneau told NBC 5 DFW at her front door. "Their daily walks and when they were having parties, they just got along so well so even when she moved to her parents', I just figured she'd be back in a little while."
Grapevine police detectives continue their investigation, but they are calling the killings a murder-suicide.