Dad shot girls, wife and himself: St. Charles police

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ST. CHARLES (Sun-Times Media Wire) - In a 911 call, Randall Coffland told a dispatcher he had shot his twin daughters, his wife and was going to shoot himself, St. Charles police said Sunday.

Two 9 mm handguns were found in the condominium where Randall Coffland and his twin, 16-year-old daughters Brittany and Tiffany Coffland lived, police said. One gun was found near Randall Coffland’s body; the other in a closet.

It appeared each girl was shot once to the head, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting. Randall Coffland also was shot in the head. Coffland’s wife and the twin’s mother, Anjum Coffland, 46, was wounded in both legs, police said. Autopsies will be performed Monday.

Randall Coffland had a firearm owners identification card, police said.

The shootings Friday shook the usually quiet town of St. Charles.

Brittany Coffland sometimes shared glimpses of troubled home life that affected her deeply, a classmate related Sunday standing in front of a memorial.

“I didn’t really think much of it. A lot of teenagers think their parents are crazy,” Gabrielle Willaert said, fighting back tears. “And she would always talk about how she didn’t know if she could get her assignments done because she wasn’t having a good home life.”

Willaert, 17, was in an honors English class with Brittany at St. Charles East High School.

“But she stayed so strong, you could tell how much she was hurting . . . there was just something about her, you knew she had been through a lot. . . . She just felt like no one cared and all my friends in English tried to make her feel like she was cared about.”

Despite her own struggles, or perhaps because of them, Brittany always sought to comfort and care for others.

“If anyone was having a bad day it would be her priority to make sure they were OK, even if she didn’t know them, Willaert said.

“She had the biggest heart. She would ask every day how my life was going,” Willaert said. “She was nonstop smiling.”

“I can’t believe that something like this would happen to such beautiful people,” she said.

“Like everyone else, you wonder if you could done something to have made a difference,” said Dan Lasse, who works on the same block where the shooting happened, as he paused in front of the memorial Sunday afternoon.