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Father-son gun deaths probed as 2 suicides

A sequence of events Monday left an 18-year-old student and his father dead of apparent self-inflicted gunshots and every building on their Kosciusko County farm burned to the ground, police said.

Nicholas D. Lowry came home from the nearby Burket Educational Center at lunchtime and his father heard a sound in his son’s room, said Sgt. Chad Hill, spokesman for the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department. When the father went in, he found the young man with a fatal gunshot wound, Hill said.

Deputies were called at 12:29 p.m. to the house in the area of 1400 S. County Road 800 West, north of Mentone, Hill said.

Officers and detectives arrived and determined that Nicholas Lowry died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

That evening, family members called police and asked for a welfare check on the boy’s father, Hill said. The spokesman said that officers spoke to the father, David D. Lowry, and that he said he was not suicidal and did not need further assistance.

Just a few hours later, at 11:42 p.m., the Kosciusko County Central Dispatch Center received a 911 call about a fire at the home. When firefighters and officers arrived, the house and all of the outbuildings were burning and the 53-year-old father was found dead at a picnic table, also from a gunshot wound.

Hill said the inquiry is in the early stages, but investigators said it appears David Lowry’s gunshot wound was also self-inflicted.

Firefighters from Mentone, Atwood, Etna Green, Burket and Claypool responded, but the house was engulfed in flames when crews arrived and fire consumed all of the buildings, the sheriff’s department said. Detectives from the county sheriff’s department, Indiana State Police and the Kosciusko Major Crimes Task Force were investigating.

agregory@jg.net

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