AUGUST 27, 07:14 ETMother Accused of Killing Children
AUGUSTA, Mont. (AP) — A mother shot and killed two of her four children while they slept, then waited for police to arrive at their Montana ranch, authorities said.
Jeanette Swanson, 46, allegedly shot her 14-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter early Monday and then called 911 asking for help. Relatives said the woman had been treated for depression just last week.
Two other children, asleep in the home, were uninjured. Her husband, Gene, was sleeping in a camp trailer outside the residence.
All awoke to sounds of gunfire at the home near Augusta, a ranching community of 285 people that is about 75 miles north of Helena.
``This is a bad one, it really is,'' said Lewis and Clark County Undersheriff Cheyle Liedle. ``This was not an accident.''
Swanson was being held in Helena on two charges of murder. Liedle said a motive hasn't been fully developed on why a mom, who home-schooled her children and doted on their care, would shoot two of them.
The shooting shocked this small ranching community, where residents hadn't seen a murder in a dozen years.
``We spent most of our day dealing with the students' grief and dealing with that kind of loss,'' said School Superintendent Russ Bean. ``Even though they didn't know the kids well, it was an issue that they had to deal with.''
Copyright 2002 Associated Press.