Officials release cause of death in murder-suicide - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Officials release cause of death in murder-suicide

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(Gerron Jordan / KPLC) (Gerron Jordan / KPLC)
Sandra G. Russell. (Source: Johnson Funeral Home) Sandra G. Russell. (Source: Johnson Funeral Home)
LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -

The Calcasieu Parish Coroner's Office has released the causes of death in a murder-suicide that occurred Monday morning in south Lake Charles.

Authorities reported that Charles L. Russell killed his wife, set fire to their home and then committed suicide in the front yard.

On Wednesday, Dr. Terry Welke confirmed that Sandra G. Russell, 69, died from a gunshot wound to the head and smoke inhalation. Welke said Charles Russell, 65, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

The incident began around 11:30 a.m. when firefighters were called to the home at the corner of Elliott Road and Dolphin Drive.

Charles Russell was found alive in the doorway of the home. He was transported to a local hospital but died around 2:20 p.m. Monday.

While battling the blaze, fire crews discovered a grenade in the home and were unable to reach Sandra G. Russell's body.

A state police bomb squad was called in to handle the explosive.

According to the Johnson's Funeral Home website, Sandra Russell's funeral service is set for 4 p.m. Friday at St. Luke Simpson United Methodist Church.

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