‘Suicidal’ college mother shot dead son, 5, and daughter, 3, before turning gun on herself

Police in New Orleans say a 25-year-old woman shot and killed her 3-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son before turning the gun on herself inside an SUV Thursday.

The discovery came hours after police said they were looking for a reportedly suicidal woman who had told her mother that she had a gun and might hurt her young children.

The three dead bodies found inside a dark blue 2014 Nissan Murano have been identified as Michelle McCullum and her children, Cylie Nicole McCullum and Caden Nicholas McCullum.

The vehicle bearing McCullum’s license plate number was discovered parked off of Old Gentilly Road at around 8.30am.

Officer Juan Barnes says the children were shot in their bodies, and they were found on the rear seat floorboard covered in blood.

David DeGruy, a diesel mechanic at Richard’s Disposal Inc., said he checked the SUV parked near the garbage company’s office in eastern New Orleans after one of his drivers said someone was slumped behind the wheel and immediately dialed 911.

‘She was slumped over, leaning towards the passenger side. She had blood all over her head and shoulder,’ he said.

He said he did not see the children then. After police broke a window and then opened the doors, he said, he saw what appeared to be children’s bodies on the floor in the back.

A .40-caliber handgun that belonged to McCullum was found inside the blood-spattered SUV.

Police had said in an earlier news release that McCullum was having personal problems and possibly had mental-health issues.

The woman and her two children were last seen alive Wednesday at around 10pm leaving their home in the 1200 block of Treme Street.

McCullum’s family contacted police at around midnight, saying the mother of two was in an agitated state and was armed with a gun when she took off with Cylie and Caden in tow.

Officials at the University of New Orleans confirmed to Nola.com Thursday that the 25-year-old was a student there.

Spokesman Adam Norris told the paper Ms McCullum was a sophomore studying part-time in the pre-dental hygiene program.

The paper also reported that the double murder-suicide took place just 2 miles from the workplace of the children’s biological father.

The unidentified man is a contract employee at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility. A neighbor of the family said McCullum had worked there as well but lost her job several months ago and had fallen on hard times.

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