Officials say John Lunetta killed his girlfriend and their young son before turning the gun on himself

By Char Adams
July 12, 2017 04:06 PM

A Las Vegas father killed his girlfriend and their 11-month-old son before turning the gun on himself in an apparent double murder-suicide several days ago, PEOPLE confirms.

A Clark Country Coroner’s Office spokeswoman has identified John Lunetta, 40, as the man police say killed Karen Jackson, 34 and 11-month-old John Jr., before taking his own life.

The bodies were found Monday night in a home near Mountains Edge Parkway and Rainbow Boulevard, police said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

“The first thing I asked the cop was, ‘How’s the baby?” one neighbor, Christy, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “He just looked at me … it’s so sad.”

John Jr.
| Credit: Source: John Lunetta/Facebook

Police said the bodies had been in the home for at least a day before they were discovered, according to the Review-Journal. Now, as investigators work to determine the circumstances surrounding the deaths, neighbors in the Southwest Valley neighborhood are trying to wrap their heads around the tragedy.

“It was very shocking to hear,” neighbor Michael Bernardo told the publication. “I know [Lunetta] loved his baby.”

Bernardo’s wife, Denise Bernardo, added: “This is deranged. He must have snapped.”

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Karen Jackson (left) and John Lunetta
| Credit: Source: John Lunetta/Facebook

In the wake of the deaths, rumors swirled about a possible recent rift between Lunetta and Jackson, who reportedly moved in with Lunetta about a year and a half ago, according to the Review-Journal.

Additionally, police told KSNV that they had visited the residence in the recent past for a custodial argument.

American Red Cross officials acknowledged the tragedy in a statement to PEOPLE, noting Lunetta was a medical director with the organization.

“We are all shocked and saddened by this terrible tragedy, and our hearts go out to everyone touched by it,” Red Cross officials said.

Jackson wrote in a July 5 Facebook post that she had recently passed a certification test to become a family nurse practitioner.

Neighbors told the publication that the little boy would have turned 1 on Wednesday.