Sheriff: Father shoots son, 3, daughter, 5, in Delta Township before killing himself

Father, daughter found dead at scene, son dies later at hospital

DELTA TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A father is believed to have shot his two young children before shooting and killing himself in Delta Township on April 13.

UPDATE: Police: Delta Township murder-suicide of 2 kids, father now considered murder investigation

The Eaton County Sheriff’s Office says deputies responded to a report of a shooting on Old River Trail at about 11 p.m. on Tuesday, April 13. Upon arrival, deputies discovered a man who was deceased, a 5-year-old girl who was also deceased and a 3-year-old boy suffering from gunshot wounds.

The 3-year-old boy, later identified as Anson Zwick, was rushed to the hospital where he was initially listed in critical condition. Officials say the boy died at the hospital on the night of April 14.

The 5-year-old daughter, later identified as Vivian Zwick, also suffered from gunshot wounds but was found dead at the scene.

After initial investigation, police say the father Joseph Lechleitner, 47, shot both of the children before taking his own life.

“We are so sorry for the surviving family,” reads a statement from the sheriff’s office. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to them.”

Officials say Lechleitner lived in the Shingleton area of the state’s Upper Peninsula.

This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information related to the incident is urged to call Detective Ted Johnson at 517-323-8492.

More: Local news

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.