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4 family members shot in West Des Moines

WEST OF THE MONKS, Iowa (AP) – Relatives have discovered the bodies of four family members, including two children, shot and wounded at their home in central Iowa, police said.

The bodies were found Saturday morning at West Des Moines' home, the Des Moines registry reported.

Authorities identified the victims as Lavanya Sunkara (44), Chandrasekhar Sunkara (41) and two boys aged 15 to 10, according to a police press release. Autopsies were performed to determine the cause of death.

Real estate records indicate that the family owned the house since March.

West Des Moines police officer Dan Wade said there was no threat to the community and that investigators were trying to determine exactly what had happened. Police said the parents who had discovered the bodies – as well as two adults and two children – were staying with the family as guests.

West Des Moines police and the Iowa Criminal Investigation Division were investigating.

"This tragedy will have an impact on family, friends, co-workers and everyone who has known this family," said Wade. "We are continuing our work during this investigation and will continue until we have answered as many questions as the evidence allows."

The Ministry of Public Security of Iowa said Chandrasekhar Sunkara was working for the department's IT unit for 11 years. He was not a sworn officer.

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