Tragedy unfolded in the early morning hours of Saturday, December 30 when officers from the Clarkstown Police Department conducted a wellness check on a residence in New City, only to find a deceased family of four.
The decedents were all identified as members of the Morgan family: Watson Morgan (age 49), Ornela Morgan (43), and their two sons, ages 10 and 12. Mr. Watson Morgan was employed as a Sergeant with the Bronxville, New York Police Department. As reported by the New York Post, the wellness check was originally conducted after Mr. Morgan failed to clock in for his Friday night shift.
All four family members were found to have gunshot wounds and were pronounced dead at the scene. At this phase of the investigation, it is believed that Watson killed his wife and two children, prior to killing himself with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A handgun was recovered at the scene. Police report no danger to the public.
“As we try to make sense of this unimaginable tragedy, our hearts break for the family involved in this devastating murder-suicide in Clarkstown,” said County Executive Ed Day. “On behalf of the people in Rockland, I send my prayers and deepest condolences to family, friends, and fellow officers of the victims, along with the entire town of Clarkstown. Please know that my thoughts are with everyone impacted by this incredibly tragic incident.”
“Obviously this is a horrific event and a terrible tragedy,” added Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann. “It’s still under investigation by the Clarkstown Police but certainly appears to be a murder-suicide. Our thoughts now are with how we can help the community begin the healing process…We’ll do everything we possibly can to try to assist those who are trying to grapple with this terrible incident.”
The Town of Clarkstown coordinated a candlelight vigil with friends of the Morgan family at Germonds Park on the evening of Wednesday, January 3. A temporary memorial was set up in the park, complete with pictures and flowers to memorialize the Morgan family. Grief counselors were also present, offering their services to support the needs of the community.
At this time, a source reports that the funeral is unlikely to be held locally, as many surviving members of Mrs. Morgan’s family live in Massachusetts. As on Tuesday, January 2, nothing has been finalized.