A "perfect Christian" family found dead in their upscale Mission Viejo, California, home Tuesday was murdered by their 21-year-old son in a bloody Memorial Day murder-suicide, say police.
Police say Michael Sheer, 21, believed to be the oldest child of Mark, 55, and Lydia Sheer, 54, first shot his parents and 15-year-old sister, Amy, then turned the shotgun on himself, according to the OC Register.
A family friend, identified as only L.J., described the Sheers as "the perfect Christian family" who regularly attended Mount of Olives Lutheran Church in Mission Viejo.
Lt. Jeff Hallock of the Orange County Sheriff's Department said they are still investigating what triggered the deadly massacre inside the two-story home, but all leads point to Michael as the shooter.
"Based on the preliminary investigation and evidence located inside the residence, Michael Sheer, 21, is suspected of shooting his father, mother and sister with a shotgun before turning the gun on himself," said Lt. Hallock in a CBS report.
Deputies had responded to reports of possible gunfire and a man yelling in the area near Pacific Hills Road on Monday.
"Deputies patrolled the area for several minutes, but were unable to locate anything to substantiate the report," said Lt. Jeff Hallock.
It wasn't until a request had been made for a welfare check at the home that the gruesome discovery was made.
Michael Sheer attended Saddleback Valley Christian High School where he played football during his freshman year in 2007. He was living with his parents at the time of the killings.
Court records show that he has no criminal record in Orange County, apart from three speeding tickets, and was known by friends and neighbors as an avid University of Southern California sports fan, according to the OC Register.
Evan Myers, a friend who played football with Michael in 2008, said he appeared to have trouble making friends.
"Looking back, I think I was his only friend," Myers told the OC Register. "He was always friendly to me, and I reciprocated."
In a statement to The Christian Post on the tragedy, Mount of Olives Church where the family were active members, said their senior pastor got the news of the deaths on Tuesday.
"Senior pastor John Steward was notified of the deaths of the Sheer family who were longstanding members of Mount of Olives Church. A friend of the family contacted the church and told the pastors the tragic news," a public relations consultant for the church relayed in a statement shared with CP.
"We are all devastated to learn about this tragedy. The Sheers were part of our family here at Mount of Olives Church and we ask everyone to pray for their extended families and friends," she continued.
"Our primary concern is for the welfare of our congregation, and particularly our teens and young adults, who knew the Sheer children.
"We are responding to this tragedy by offering grief and prayer support to anyone who calls the church office at 949-837-7467. Our weekend services have been modified this week and will focus on dealing with tragedies and getting through difficult times," the statement added.