A 51-year-old man was also found suffering from a gunshot wound to the head and rushed to the hospital.
A Michigan mother and her three young children were found dead from apparent gunshot wounds inside their home in Mecosta Township. The victims include three young siblings, six-year-old Katelynn Gillard, four-year-old Ronald Gillard, and three-year-old Joshua Gillard, Mecosta County Sheriff's Office confirmed in a release on Monday, per PEOPLE. "Their mother, 40-year-old Dawn Gillard was also killed, presumably by their father and husband, a 51-year-old male, who then is believed to have turned the firearm on himself, leading to a gunshot wound to the head. The male was transported to Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital, later transferred to Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, before being transferred to University of Michigan Hospital, where he continues to be in critical condition for his injuries," the release stated.
The man's identity is being withheld until he is arrested and formally charged, according to Sheriff Brian Miller who added, "In the near future, information will be limited so as to not jeopardize any future criminal proceedings, and out of respect to the family." Sheriff Miller told PEOPLE, "No matter how much you prepare yourself for something like this in our line of work, it never is easy. It sticks with you. Our hearts go our to the remaining family members, who have to go on with their lives not having their loved ones part of it. I am speechless, and really have no answer to why and how something like this can happen. We have a strong community, who has always been there for one another during times of need." He continued, "Although heartbreaking, this tragedy is no different. We will come together, unified in purpose to make sure these kids and their mother are not forgotten, with justice being served."
Hailey Salisbury, the daughter of Dawn Gillard and half-sister of the three young children, cannot believe that she lost her family members so tragically. "I am in total shock. I am so devastated," she told 13 ON YOUR SIDE. She also posted several videos on TikTok mourning the loss of her family members and in one video she said, "I WILL find a way to speak to you before you die in prison you disgusting sickening thing,” according to the Daily Mail, seemingly addressing her stepfather's actions. In another, she shared a video of herself breaking down while repeatedly screaming, "What the f**k?" after discovering the horrific news.
A GoFundMe has been set up to support the surviving family and funeral costs. Additional funds will be allocated to the surviving children.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation can contact Detective Sergeant Mike Mohr at (231) 592-0150.
Representational Cover Image Source: Getty Images | D-Keine