Grim details emerge on murder-suicide near Darien
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A Darien-area man may have been upset about his finances and losing his job when he opened fire on his family Tuesday, killing his wife and two daughters and then turning the gun on himself, law enforcement sources said Wednesday.
David Andrus, 50, killed himself after fatally shooting his wife, Jeana, 48, and the couple's two daughters, 22-year-old Jessica and 16-year-old Jennifer, inside their home on Oldfield Road near Darien, the sources said.
DuPage County Coroner Richard Jorgensen said autopsies Wednesday determined all of the victims died from single gunshots to the face. Both daughters were shot at close range, he said, and Andrus fired into his own mouth.
The killings started in the family basement. A source said one of two nephews living with Andrus saw him walk to a gun safe with a "weird look on his face," then heard popping sounds as Jeana Andrus was fatally shot in the basement.
The nephew then went upstairs to the main floor, the source said, and ran out of the house after seeing David Andrus shoot his older daughter.
A source said Andrus stood outside his younger daughter's bedroom and repeatedly called out for her to "open the door" before shooting her in the face. After the killings, he shot himself and collapsed on the girl's body.
Andrus recently was fired from his job in Willowbrook after coming under suspicion for theft from the company. He also was upset because of financial problems he and his wife were having, the source said.
Andrus used a large-caliber revolver to carry out the slayings, according to a source who called the crime scene "brutal."
Andrus has no record of domestic violence in DuPage County, but a source said police had been called to the family's home on several occasions for domestic disturbances.
Neighbor Rachel Steinhaus said she was worried when she saw Andrus arguing with his 19-year-old nephew on their front lawn Tuesday afternoon, but didn't think much about it when she heard a "popping noise" a short time later.
"It sounded like a door slamming," she said Wednesday.
Steinhaus, 18, lives three doors away and said she's known the family since 2000.
"I'm still shaken up and terrified," she said.
Steinhaus said she called Andrus' other nephew, 17, after seeing the commotion on the lawn Tuesday.
"I told him to get home from work now because something was happening at his house," she said.
She said she then heard a single "pop."
"All I know is (David Andrus) came home earlier than usual and all of this happened," Steinhaus said.
A relative of the family declined to comment when reached by phone.
Steinhaus said six people, including the victims and the two nephews, lived in the home with five dogs.
On Wednesday, she was caring for four of the dogs — two chihuahuas, a Rottweiler mix and a golden retriever. The fifth dog was taken by police after it walked through the crime scene, she said, and then was turned over to the youngest victim's boyfriend.
Steinhaus said the family had "normal fights like a normal family" but she never expected violence. She said Andrus's 17-year-old nephew was staying with her Wednesday and still was recovering from the shock.
"He's doing all right, trying to forget most of it," she said.
Steinhaus and a law enforcement source said generations of Andruses have lived in the area and are considered one of the community's founding families.
The killings happened just yards from where three members of a Darien family were shot to death in February 2010. Last month, a DuPage County jury convicted the second of two men charged in that case.
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