Police: Four family members found shot to death inside West Des Moines home


WEST DES MOINES – Police are releasing more information related to the death investigation in the 900 block of 65th Street.

The West Des Moines Police Department has confirmed the deaths of four people inside the home. 44-year-old Chandrasekhar Sunkara, 41-year-old Lavanya Sunkara, a 15-year-old boy and a 10-year-old boy were pronounced dead at the scene. All four lived in the home.

Autopsies will be performed at a later date and will determine the cause of death for each person. Police did, however, report apparent gunshot wounds to each.

Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Assistant Director Mitch Mortvedt confirmed to Local 5 that Chandrasekhar Sunkara worked in the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Technology Services Bureau.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the Sunkaras,” Mortvedt said in a statement. 

Police say other family members, two adults and two children, were staying as guests. When the victims were discovered, one of the survivors ran outside looking for help. He found someone walking through the neighborhood and that person called 911.

“This tragedy will impact family, friends, co-workers, anyone that knew this family” said Sgt. Dan Wade with the West Des Moines Police Department. “We are continuing to work through this investigation. We will follow through until we have answered as many questions as the evidence allows. We are confident, though, that there is no continuing threat to the community.”

Investigators have called in DCI agents to assist in the investigation. The area will continue to be blocked off.

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