VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A family in mourning reached out to News 3 after a domestic situation left three of .
Early Sunday morning, September 10, a shooting happened at a home on Gateway Place.
Police say those who died are: 39-year-old Stephen Ericson, 42-year-old Rebecca Ericson, and 38-year-old Jon Lafave. The Ericsons were siblings and Lafave was Rebecca’s fiancé, according to police.
Angela Bohon, EHOURL 3
Detectives believe Stephen was responsible for shooting Lafave and Rebecca, and they believe Stephen then turned the gun on himself.
All three suffered gunshot wounds and died, police say.
Joy Nice, Stephen and Rebecca Ericson’s sister, says her mother was in the home when it all happened, and she says that police were called out to the house earlier in the day to respond to a report of an altercation. Police confirm with News 3 that they did respond to the house earlier but no crime had occurred and they recommended the parties involved separate themselves.
“My mom had to pretty much pick him up off the floor: He was being choked,” described Nice.
She believes her brother was acting in self-defense.
News 3 reached out to the Medical Examiner’s office to try and get more information and is awaiting a response. Police say the M.E.’s office will conduct an independent investigation, and if there are inconsistencies with the VBPD investigation, detectives will re-evaluate the case.
Meanwhile, the family says they will soon be arranging funeral services.
Nice is trying to be strong but grieving for both her sister and her brother who she says was her best friend.
“My brother was full of life. He loved the ocean, fishing. He loved his job; he loved teaching my kids to fish,” she described.
This situation is one Nice says nobody ever thinks will happen.
“If there’s tension in the home, and people aren’t getting along, it has to be dealt with. It can’t be ignored, because the longer you ignore it, the worse it gets,” Nice reflected. “And this just got to the worst it possibly could have gotten to and now I’ve lost both of my siblings.”
Resources are available for those dealing with domestic troubles. Samaritan House has a 24-hour hotline: 757-430-2120. Their executive director says callers can remain anonymous.