Kennewick man finds son, stepdaughter shot to death

Kennewick man finds son, stepdaughter shot to death »Play Video
KENNEWICK, Wash. -- A Kennewick man came home Monday night to find the bodies of his 12-year-old son and 16-year-old stepdaughter. Police say the children died from multiple gunshot wounds.

“I got the bad feeling in my gut that something bad had happened," said “Stephanie,” a next-door neighbor who did not want to be identified.

“Stephanie” was home in her living room when Monday's death investigation unfolded around her.

“I heard the police sirens, they screeched around the corner here and then they all shot out this way," she explained, pointing four homes down across the street.

"Stephanie" said a man she recognized as the father of her son's friend ran out to meet police before they all raced back inside.

“They started taping everything off, including the block and around the house," she said. "The mom came and got out of her vehicle and was hysterical like she'd gotten a call."

A call is what brought police to the home in Hansen Park. Just after 5 p.m., a man dialed 911.

“A stepdad arrived home; he finds his 16-year-old stepdaughter, 12-year-old stepson [see below] deceased from multiple gunshot wounds; he then calls police," said Kennewick Police Department Sgt. Ken Lattin.

Police have identified the children as Kaitlin Austin and Ethan Austin and the man as Andrew Austin. They do not have any known suspects and told KEPR Andrew Austin has been cooperating.

Lattin said a handgun was found nearby, but he added that’s all they really know at this point.

“We kind of figured it had something to do with guns," said "Stephanie."

She and her son told KEPR Andrew Austin was an avid hunter. She said her 12-year-old mentioned before just how many guns were in the home. He told KEPR they were in a cabinet that probably was locked.

“We've never had anything like this happen," "Stephanie" said. "Never."

It was a comment KEPR heard over and over from other neighbors, who are now focused on this family.

“I really hope that, whatever the family is going through right now, that they make it," she said.

Editor's Note: When this story originally aired, we reported that Ethan Austin was Andrew Austin's stepson, based on information we received from the Kennewick Police Department. He was Andrew Austin's biological son. A quote from KPD Sgt. Ken Lattin in the above article reflects the original, incorrect information. We apologize for the error and for any confusion it may have caused.