SEATTLE - Quick facts:
- Grandfather, 78, shoots and kills adult daughter and grandaughter
- Ten-year-old boy runs and calls police
- Father alerted police after find daughter's blog alleging abuse
Child’s blog details abuse from suspected shooter in ‘horrific’ murder-suicide
A 78-year-old man fatally shot his 39-year-old daughter and 11-year-old granddaughter before turning the gun on himself Monday night in South Seattle, police said. The mother's young son was the only one who survived the bloodshed inside the home.
According to authorities, police received a call from a 10-year-old boy who said his grandfather, Honorario Yango, brandished a handgun at the boy’s mother and sister before shooting them. His grandfather then turned the gun on himself.
The boy ran and called 911. When police arrived, the man, his daughter, and granddaughter were dead.
Neighbors told KIRO 7 that the mother's name is Christine Dela Isla.
Neighbor Jerome Mannan says he saw a young boy leave the home Monday night, barefoot and limping.
"He was frightened, you could see that. I feel sorry for him because he looked traumatized,” said Mannan. "The fact that three people are dead? That's horrific."
The father of the two children said he found his daughter's blog alleging abuse from the grandfather on Tuesday morning and called police. While he waited for a call back from Seattle Police Department, he received a call from another detective telling him about the deaths.
"When I Googled my daughter's name, the blog popped up," the father, Terrell Cowherd, said. "The only conclusion I can come to is that she must have actually got to the point where she was about to call police, and I guess that was his way of preventing her from doing so."
Terrell Cowherd believes what his daughter wrote is the horrible truth. She wrote “I’m Anahlia Cowherd … and I’m gonna bring justice to all girls who have been touched.”
A blog post written by Anahlia, who was a fifth-grader at Aki Kurose Middle School, just hours earlier details fears of her grandfather.
“He threatened me … He actually threatened to KILL my family ... I’m so scared," she wrote.
In other posts, Anahlia detailed years of sexual abuse at the hands of her grandfather. She wrote “My mom said the next f------ time he does this she’s gonna call the police."
Police have not released a motive as of Tuesday afternoon. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray rushed to the house to join police after the shooting.
"Three citizens of this city are dead, and it involves guns,” Murray said.
The boy is staying with relatives, and KIRO 7 found no criminal history for the grandfather. Below is the text of a letter sent to members of the Aki Kurose community, where the granddaughter went to middle school.
Dear Aki Kurose community,
It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I share the tragic news that one of our students was killed yesterday night. The student’s mother and grandfather are also dead in the incident. Her younger brother was in the house but managed to escape and call 911.
As a community, I know we will come together to not only support the surviving family members, but work to ensure our larger community is a safe place for us to live, learn and work.
We have counselors at school today and will continue to have counselors and mental health support available next week for students, staff and families, as needed. When someone dies, particularly in an act of violence, it is normal for children and teens to have different kinds of feelings and reactions. Parents and guardians have important roles in helping students understand about death.
We understand that each culture has its own way of dealing with death, and we encourage children to talk with their families about their ideas, thoughts and beliefs. Additionally, talking about the incident can be a healthy way for families to process their feelings and reactions to an event of this nature.
Here are some suggestions for how to help students cope:
- Maintain a normal routine.
- Stick to facts. Answer questions factually.
- Remain calm and reassuring. Students take their cues from their parents and adults.
- Be a good listener and observer. Pay attention to changes in behavior.
- Take care of yourself. You are better able to help your students if you are coping well. If you are anxious or upset, children are more likely to be so as well.
- Notice when children have questions and want to talk.
- Be especially loving and supportive; children and teens need you even more at this time.
We recognize that even if your student may not have known or been close to this family, he/she may still feel a strong reaction. We also realize this may be your child’s first experience with death or it may trigger feelings about other deaths your child may have experienced.
If you have any questions, please let me know. We will keep you updated on how we as a community can move forward, and how we can support the family.
Aki Kurose Middle School