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Suspect in Mecosta Co. quadruple homicide charged

The Mecosta County Prosecutor announced Charles Gillard, 51, will be arraigned on 15 counts of multiple charges.

MECOSTA COUNTY, Mich. — The suspect in a shooting that left four people dead, including three children, has been charged, Mecosta County police announced Wednesday.

The 51-year-old suspect, Charles Gillard, was charged with four counts of homicide open murder, five counts of felony firearm, three counts of first degree child abuse, two counts of first degree child abuse committed in the presence of another child and one count of discharge of a firearm in a building causing death.

All of the charges, except felony firearm, are punishable by a maximum of life in prison. 

The shooting happened May 27 at a home on 180th Avenue near Johnson Road in Austin Township. Deputies responding to a shots fired call located a woman and three young children dead.

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The three children were siblings, and have been identified as 6-year-old Katelynn Gillard, 4-year-old Ronald Gillard and 3-year-old Joshua Gillard. 

The other victim was identified as their mother, 40-year-old Dawn Gillard.

"I don't know if you can ever be ready for what we saw that day, three young lives, but I think it affected everybody that was there, present that day," said Mecosta County Sheriff Brian Miller. "A lot of us have children of our own, and it was very hard for all of us."

After the shooting, police believe Charles turned the gun on himself and sustained a gunshot wound to his head. He was taken to a hospital for treatment and survived his injuries.

Charles is due to be released from the hospital in the coming weeks. He will be arraigned after his release.

Watch the full announcement below:

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