Shooting death may be first homicide in decades
According to a press release from the SPD, officers were dispatched to 900 Shadow Mountain Way at around 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 2, on a report of a deceased woman at the house. An investigation of the scene led officers to an address on Gold Run Road, where officers discovered James Moellman dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
SPD Captain Tom Downing confirmed the victims were married and living in separate houses, but said there wasn’t a divorce proceeding pending in the Lassen County court system.
Downing said investigators haven’t established a motive yet for the incident. He said investigators are looking at several options for the incident, with a strong possibility of it being a murder–suicide.
He said investigators on the case are waiting for autopsy results and forensic evidence to come back before they have a clearer picture.
A neighbor near Peggy Sue’s house said he heard a carpet cleaner had come to the house earlier in the morning, where he discovered her body, along with her dog sitting nearby. The cleaner immediately went to another neighbor’s house to call 911.
The neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said Peggy Sue usually kept to herself, and was generally quiet.
Officers arriving on scene confirmed she was dead, with her dog found sitting nearby. Officers confirmed she died from gunshot wounds. The neighbor said police conducted an investigation of the house and the crime scene for roughly 11 hours.
Police were able to obtain a search warrant for the house on Gold Run Road. Officers entered to find James Moellman dead, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
The investigation into the incidents is being handled cooperatively by the Susanville Police Department and the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Lassen County District Attorney’s Office and the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Forensic Services, and the Lassen Interagency SWAT Team.
The neighbor said police officials had told him the department felt that there was no potential danger to the areas immediately surrounding the house on Shadow Mountain Way.
Anyone with information about either incident is encouraged to contact either the Sheriff’s Office at 257-6121 or the Police Department at 257-2171. Callers can remain anonymous if they wish. The investigation is ongoing.
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