Man shoots wife, 2 daughters then turns gun on himself: sources
BY JON SEIDEL, DAN ROZEK, STEFANO ESPOSITO AND BECKY SCHLIKERMAN Staff Reporters June 12, 2013 8:35AM
Updated: July 15, 2013 6:43PM
Jeana Andrus told her father she’d be out to visit him in Arizona in just three weeks.
And she said she’d bring her daughters — “the girls” — Jessica, 22, and Jennifer, 16.
There was no sign of trouble then, her father said. Not from his daughter. Not in her long marriage to David Andrus.
She told John Infanti: “Daddy, I can’t wait to come out there and see you.”
But that day will never come. Police are now investigating the triple murder-suicide of the Andrus family in unincorporated Downers Grove. David, 50, Jeana, 48, Jessica and Jennifer were found shot to death in their home Tuesday in the 500 block of Oldfield Road.
Sources said David Andrus gunned his family down before shooting himself in the mouth. Law enforcement sources said he’d been fired abruptly from his job at a Willowbrook company that called the shootings a “tragedy” Wednesday night.
Three white crosses surrounded by candles and stuffed animals stood outside the Andrus home Wednesday afternoon. Each one adorned with a red heart. One each for Jeana and her girls.
“This whole thing is just unbelievable,” Infanti told the Sun-Times in a phone interview.
Infanti called Jeana a “great mother” and a “fantastic daughter.” A friend outside the home remembered one of the Andrus daughters as “one of the nicest persons you could ever meet.” Stephen Turner, who co-owns USA Skate Center, a Romeoville roller-skating rink where Jeana worked, said, “She’d give you the shirt off her back.”
“And she didn’t have a shirt to give,” he said.
Sources said Andrus targeted only his wife and children. Just before the shooting rampage, sources said he asked a boyfriend of one of his daughters to take the family’s dog out for a walk.
A male relative who was in the house when the shooting began saw Andrus, but he told police Andrus didn’t shoot at him or try to harm him. That relative escaped unharmed.
Andrus’ last victim was his oldest daughter, Jessica, sources said. They said he entered her room, shot her, then shot himself.
His body was found next to hers.
Neighbor Rachel Steinhaus, 18, said one of the girls’ cousins was staying with the family. As she spoke to a reporter Wednesday, that cousin crossed her lawn and she ran to hug him before he stepped into her home.
“I’m fine,” he told the reporter.
Steinhaus said she heard arguing coming from the Andrus house as she got her mail Tuesday. She didn’t think it was out of the ordinary.
“It was basically two family members yelling at each other. They always fight with each other,” she said.
Infanti, who lives in Mesa, Ariz., said he saw no sign of trouble in his daughter’s marriage. He said Jeana and David were married about 28 years.
“Nothing,” he said. “No problems at all. Nothing to trigger this.”
But a battery company in Willowbrook, Midtronics, acknowledged Wednesday it had terminated Andrus for cause. It said it would not release any further details for confidentiality reasons, but it said it is cooperating fully with the police investigation.
“Midtronics employees are like family, and we mourn this tragic loss of life,” the statement read. “Midtronics extends our thoughts and sympathy to all those impacted and have made grief counseling available to our employees during this difficult time.”
The Andrus’ shooting deaths happened about a block-and-a-half from where three members of the Kramer family were murdered in March 2010. Just last month, Johnny Borizov was convicted of orchestrating the murders of Jeffrey Kramer, 50, his wife, Lori, 48, and their youngest son, Michael, 20.
But that wasn’t the only tragedy recalled as details of the Andrus slayings emerged. Tuesday, the day of their deaths, marked the three-month anniversary of the day four teens died in a crash near Wilmington.
One of those teens was 15-year-old Micalah Sembach. Her mother, Margo Sembach, said Jeana Andrus was Micalah’s caregiver for nearly six years, starting when Micalah was an infant.
Margo and Jeana were friends. So were Micalah and Jeana’s younger daughter.
And when Micalah died, Margo said Jeana helped console her family.
“She was here when I needed her the most,” Margo Sembach said.
“I wish I could have been there to help her.”