Peter Ruckman, who police say shot his two sons to death, had been a professor of political science at Rock Valley College in Rockford, Illinois

By Chris Harris
March 05, 2018 11:24 AM

Investigators in Illinois are trying to determine what may have driven a political science professor to fatally shoot his two young sons before killing himself.

Three bodies were discovered in separate bedrooms Saturday morning inside a Cherry Valley, Illinois, home, according to the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office.

The victims have been identified as John Ruckman, 12, Christopher Ruckman, 14, and their father, 58-year-old Peter Ruckman. All died from fatal gunshot wounds.

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Ruckman had been a professor of political science at Rock Valley College in Rockford, Illinois, since 1998.

“The Rock Valley College community is devastated by the news from this weekend on the loss of Professor Peter Ruckman and his two children,” reads a statement from the college. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Professor Ruckman’s family, friends, RVC colleagues, and his current and former students at this tragic time.”

He was also a former instructor at Northern Illinois University.

Police were asked to check on Ruckman and his children Saturday, after the boy’s mother said she had not heard from her children for days.

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Officers arrived at the home to find the two boys dead in separate bedrooms. Ruckman was found dead in his bedroom.

The boys were both students at the Rockford Christian school.

Police confirm Ruckman’s wife had filed for divorce last summer but the divorce had not been finalized.

Efforts to reach her were unsuccessful Monday.