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Man Reportedly Kills Wife, 2 Sons Before Shooting Self : Violence: Relatives say he was troubled by marital problems, unemployment. He is in critical condition.

<i> From Associated Press</i>

A man who family members said was troubled by marital problems and his inability to find work allegedly shot and killed his wife and two sons before critically wounding himself Wednesday.

Martin Brunolt, a 45-year-old unemployed electrician, was arrested and booked on suspicion of murder at Riverside Community Hospital, where he was in critical but stable condition with a gunshot wound to the head.

Brunolt’s wife, Graciela, believed to be in her 30s, and his sons, Martin Jr., about 10, and Matthew, about 6, were slain.

Investigators believe the Brunolts were arguing before the shooting but do not know what sparked the fight, Lohman said. The two did not have a history of domestic violence, he said.

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Brunolt’s mother, Marlene Chicoine, said her son and daughter-in-law had faced increasing job and family-related problems in recent months.

“Everything just pounded down on them--the loss of work, the problems they were having with their marriage,” she said after visiting her son in the hospital.

Chicoine said she believes her son will never come to grips with the loss of his family.

“I was praying that he wouldn’t make it,” she tearfully told a reporter. “I love him so much I was praying he wouldn’t make it because he loved his sons and he loved his wife so much.”

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The carnage at the Brunolt’s single-story home on normally quiet Sea Biscuit Street was discovered shortly after midnight by authorities responding to a report of gunfire.

Deputies found Brunolt staggering on the front lawn with an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Riverside County Sheriff’s spokesman Mark Lohman said.

Inside the 1,100-square-foot home, they found the bodies of his wife and sons.

Deputies recovered a 9-millimeter handgun from the house and believed it was the weapon used in the shooting.

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The shooting was reported by a live-in housekeeper, who heard the gunshots and walked to a nearby fire station to get help, Lohman said.

The housekeeper, who was not injured, could not be located for questioning later Wednesday, Lohman said.


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