DEVELOPING: Large police presence along the 4000 block of Meridian. Swat just arrived on scene and members positioning themselves nearby. About a dozen police cruisers also here. @6abc pic.twitter.com/zbsympBFFr— Jeannette Reyes (@6abcJeannette) August 17, 2018
The mother has been identified as 37-year-old Linda Rios-Neuby, who served as Director of Human Resources for Philadelphia City Council.
Police say it was around 7:40 a.m. Friday when a babysitter arrived at the home along the 4000 block of Meridian Street, as she normally does to care for the twin girls.
The babysitter said she heard arguing upstairs between the mother and father, then shots were fired.
The babysitter fled the building, police said, and the two young children later exited the home on their own and went to a neighbor's house.
Police responded to the scene where they spoke to the babysitter and the two little girls, and declared a barricade.
Police say it was around 8:30 a.m. when SWAT made entry to the home and found 43-year-old Haywood Neuby on the first floor suffering from a gunshot wound to the head, with a loaded handgun at his feet.
Upstairs in the second-floor bathroom police found 37-year-old Linda Rios-Neuby, who had been shot three times.
Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Distraught family members and friends filled Meridian Street after getting word of the tragedy - grieving and consoling one another.
"You just don't ever know," said neighbor Maryanne Novak. "This is a total shock to me because you would've never imagined. They go out to work every morning."
According to police, the couple were estranged, but still married. Haywood Neuby was not living in the home at the time but had come by to see his daughters.
There was one prior documented domestic incident on June 10th when police were called for a verbal argument.
Neighbors tell us the couple had twins, about 4 years old. They went out the back with the babysitter. They are ok. They’re parents are dead. Police say their father shot their mother before turning the gun on himself. Detectives are speaking with the babysitter. @6abc— Jeannette Reyes (@6abcJeannette) August 17, 2018
Linda Rios-Neuby has been working with City Council since she interned there as a teenager. The tremendous loss was felt throughout City Council.
City Council President Daryl Clarke released the following statement:
"Words cannot describe the heartbreak I feel today. Linda Rios was more than a dedicated public servant; she was a beloved colleague and friend to so many in City Council, she was a loving mother to two little girls, she was a counselor in whom everyone could confide. I am so sad and angry that she died this way.
"I will have more to say in the future about the role of guns in this tragedy, and the scourge of domestic violence, but for now I join my colleagues and all City Council staff in mourning this tremendous loss.
"It will take some time, but I'm going to try to remember Linda at her happiest - her beautiful smile and infectious joy as she carried those beautiful twins four years ago, never slowing her pace at work until nature forced her to do so.
"City Council is a family. We're going to make sure Linda's daughters know this, and that they have every opportunity to grow into the healthy, cherished adults Linda dreamed they would be.
"To every person out there who is suffering in a violent or abusive relationship, please seek help from someone you trust. Call 911 if you are in immediate danger, or call the Women Against Abuse hotline at 1-866-723-3014 at any hour for free, confidential counseling."
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