West Des Moines police said June 17 in a statement that bodies of Chandrasekhar Sunkara,44, Lavanya Sunkara, 41, their 15-year-old and a 10-year-old sons were found in their home on the morning of June 15. Autopsies were pending to determine the official causes of death, but police said all had gunshots wounds,
Reports in NDTV said Chandrasekhar, known as Chandra, reportedly hailed from Andhra Pradesh. The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) confirmed that he was an IT employee in the Technology Services Bureau for the department.
At press time, no arrests have been made.
“We are continuing to work through this investigation. We will follow through until we have answered as many questions as the evidence allows. We are confident, though, that there is no continuing threat to the community," Sergeant Dan Wade was quoted as saying in a statement.
The DPS expressed its condolence over the death of Chandrasekhar and his family members.
Police said, according to the news reports, other family members, two adults and two children, were staying in the home as guests. When the bodies were discovered, one of the relatives ran outside looking for help and found a passerby, who called 911, the NBC news reported.
The NDTV report said no suspect was reported to be in custody, but quoted police as saying they were confident that there was no threat to the community.
"You don’t see something like this happen in the Indian community, let alone a heinous act like this,” Shrikar Somayajula who has known the Sunkaras for over a decade was quoted as saying in the reports.
Somayajula is a director at A Grade Ahead, an after-school enrichment academy in West Des Moines, where both boys attended frequently, whotv.com reported.
“The family was a very friendly family and so it is really painful,” said Somayajula.
He added, "For someone who we’ve known so close and we’ve seen them come in week after week come in for classes and we've seen them as recent as last Wednesday, to learn that they are not there anymore is something that really breaks our heart." He said both Sunkara boys were bright students.