New Jersey State Police have announced the death of the New Jersey mother who is alleged to have shot her three children. Jeaninne LePage, 44, of Tabernacle, died on Sunday morning after a failed murder-suicide attempt on Thursday.
According to investigators, on Thursday morning, inside of her brother’s Holly Park Drive home, LePage shot all three of her chldren before shooting herself. She is alleged to have used a pillow as a makeshift silencer to deaden the sound of the gunshots. The crime was reported to police on Thursday at 9:16 a.m. by members of her family who were in the house at the time. Detectives say that due to the use of the pillow, no one inside of the home heard the gunshots.
When emergency personnel arrived at the home, they discovered all four victims upstairs on the mother’s bed. The gun which police believe was used by LePage to shoot her children and herself was discovered close to her body. It had been bought by a now-deceased family member a long time ago. Nadia Harriman, 8, and Nicholas Harriman, 14, were already deceased. Alexander Harriman, 11, and LePage were still alive and immediately transported to Camden’s Cooper University Hospital, where Alexander’s condition is extremely critical.
Police initially believed that all four had been victims of a shooting by an unknown perpetrator, but updated their theory on Friday during a press conference, when Captain Geoffrey Nobel told the media, “There are three victims who were shot, and one suspect who was shot.”
A candlelight vigil was held on Thursday night which numbered approximately 150 people, among them the best friend of Nadia. Also there was a woman who said that she and LePage had been best friends for over 30 years. Monique Currier told WPVI-TV that LePage was a nurse who was currently unemployed and having financial troubles. The father of the children currently resides in Maryland, and LePage had been living with her brother’s family on Holly Park Drive. Currier recalls a conversation she had with LePage several months ago in which Lepage said that if her situation continued to deteriorate, she would kill her children and then herself.
Tabernacle Elementary and Seneca High School, where the two children who died went to school, had crisis counselors available for students on Friday. Police also provided grief counselors to the emergency personnel who responded to the scene. Lt. Greg Giannone of the New Jersey State Police said that the counselors were made available to troopers due to the ages of the victims. A member of the police described the scene as “horrific.”
Police have heard reports that one of LePage’s children sent a text to a friend on Thursday in which they said that due to their mother’s bad mood that day, they would not be in school. Investigators ask anyone who may have gotten a text like this to please contact the state police, as they may assist police in drawing up a timeline of the crime, which they believe occurred between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. Thursday morning. A trust fund has been established at a local bank to help the extended family with funeral and other costs.
By Jennifer Pfalz
Photo by KOMU News – License (Cropped from original for size)