Mikayla and Dariel Walker

The two-year-old girl and three-year-old boy were each shot once in the head

February 23, 2018 12:36 PM

A 2-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl from Michigan were murdered Tuesday by their mother, who then turned the gun on herself, PEOPLE confirms.

The two children — Dariel, known as DJ, and Mikayla Walker — were each shot once in the head, according to the Bay County Sheriff’s Office. The boy was found just outside the car where the bodies of Mikayla and the children’s mother, Nikita Landrum, 31, were discovered.

Landrum also died from a fatal gunshot wound to the head, investigators said.

Mikayla would have been 4 in April and DJ was turning 3 in June.

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The car was found in a Bangor Township industrial park some 100 miles from Farmington Hills, where the children were living with their mother. A handgun was also located at the scene.

A family friend told FOX2 in Detroit the children’s father, Dariel Walker, never thought their lives would have been in danger around his wife; the couple were separated and shared custody of their kids.

“Those kids are little angels and I say it all the time,” the friend, Kamal Miller, told the station. “It was an absolute and total shock to the family.”

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Efforts to reach the father were unsuccessful Friday.

Police are still trying to determine a motive for the violence.

A GoFundMe campaign has been established to cover the children’s funeral costs.

Suicide Prevention: What to Know

Experts say some common warning signs of suicide include discussing a desire to die or feeling anxious or hopeless, like a burden, or trapped or in pain; withdrawing from others; extreme mood swings, including anger and recklessness; and abnormal sleep patterns (sleeping too much or too little).

Many suicides have multiple causes and are not triggered by one event, according to experts, who underline that suicidal crises can be overcome with help. Where mental illness is a factor, it can be treated.

Reaching out to those in need is a simple and effective preventative measure, experts say.

If you or someone you know is showing warning signs of suicide, consider contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK, texting the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or seeking help from a professional.

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