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Family member identifies three young children, mother killed in Mecosta Co. shooting

A family member told 13 ON YOUR SIDE that three young siblings, 6-year-old Katelynn Gillard, 4-year-old Ronald Gillard and 3-year-old Joshua Gillard, were all slain.

MECOSTA COUNTY, Mich. — The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office is investigating the homicide of three young siblings and their mother Friday. 

Police say around 2:30 p.m., deputies were dispatched to a residence in Austin Township on reports of a man with a gun and multiple shots being fired. 

When deputies arrived on scene, they located three children, all under the age of 10, and one woman dead. Police say it appeared they all suffered from gunshot wounds. 

A family member told 13 ON YOUR SIDE that three young siblings, 6-year-old Katelynn Gillard, 4-year-old Ronald Gillard and 3-year-old Joshua Gillard, were all slain. 

Their mother, 40-year-old Dawn Gillard, was also killed.

"I am in total shock. I am so devastated," Hailey Salisbury, the daughter of Dawn Gillard and half-sister to the young children who were killed said.

One man was also found suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. He was transported to Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital and later flown to Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids. 

Salisbury says that the man is her step-father Charles Gillard and that he opened fire on his children, and then their mother. He's in critical condition, she said. 

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Authorities have not released the identities of those involved.

Police say there is no threat to the public and the incident is still being investigated by the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office. 

One of the children attended Morley Stanwood Community Schools, Superintendent Roger Cole said in a note to parents. 

The school has invited the community to attend a memorial for the victims at the Morley Stanwood football field on Monday at 7 p.m.

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