TABERNACLE N.J. — Two children were shot dead and two of their family members were critically wounded by gunfire at a home in a rural New Jersey town near Philadelphia, state police said on Thursday.
A boy and a girl were killed in the shooting, State Police Captain Stephen Jones said in a press conference outside the house in Tabernacle, New Jersey, where the incident took place. He did not identify a suspect and the names and ages of the victims were not released.
The victims included a woman and a second boy who were injured. They were taken by helicopter to Cooper University Hospital in Camden, where hospital spokeswoman Lori Shaffer said they were in critical condition.
All four victims were related and other relatives were in the home at the time of the shooting, Jones said.
He declined to name a suspect in the shooting but said police were not widely searching for an assailant.
“There’s not a massive manhunt going on,” he said.
Police were dispatched to the house at about 9 a.m. EST after one of the unharmed relatives made an emergency call, Jones said.
The gunfire came sometime between Wednesday night and the time of the call and none of the uninjured relatives reported hearing it, Jones said.
No additional details about the victims or assailant were immediately available.
“It’s an active scene,” Trooper Alina Spies said. “We have a lot of troopers out there investigating, trying to process everything.”
The house where the shooting took place is a large single-family home in a wooded area. About a dozen police and emergency vehicles were lined up outside of it.
Residents say the neighborhood, nestled in the rural New Jersey Pine Barrens about 25 miles east of Philadelphia, was a quiet one.
“There are days you have to wait for the deer to get out of the way to pull out I your driveway,” said Joe Barry, 58, who lives several blocks away.
Tabernacle, with a population of about 7,000 people, was ranked in 2010 by New Jersey Monthly Magazine as the sixth best place to live in the state, according to the town’s website.
Additional reporting by Laila Kearney.