MONTREAL -- A Montreal-area neighborhood was rocked on Saturday with the news a mother and her two daughters were found shot to death in their own home.
Police suspect Dragolub Tzokovitch, who was found bleeding in his bedroom, allegedly killed his daughters and wife before turning the gun on himself.
Tzokovitch, a psychologist, was listed in critical condition in a hospital on Saturday night and police said he may not survive.
Police say a handgun was used to kill Iva, 17, her sister Alice, 10, and their mother, Mila Yoynova, 40.
The bodies Alice and Iva were in their respective rooms, while the parents were found in the master bedroom were discovered in the family home just after 11 a.m. after a friend concerned about their safety called 911. Police say it appears the shootings had taken place a few hours earlier.
In a sad coincidence, the Montreal Gazette spoke to Iva after a spate of violent incidences at area schools in 2005.
"We see our school as a safe environment. It just doesn't strike us as possible," Iva was quotes as saying.
A year later, in her upbeat graduation write-up the school yearbook, Iva gave "special thanks" to her parents, mentioned her sibling "my sis" and finished with a quote: "Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today."
The killings shook the neighbourhood.
"They seemed like really nice, down-to-earth people," said Emily Regimbal, who lives a few doors away from the family.
"It's really scary. It's my neighbourhood, my street. I never would have thought something like that would happen."
The couple, both of Bulgarian origin, had been separated but reconciled about a year ago.
Yoynova, a yoga instructor, bought the house last year.
Tzokovitch, a psychologist and member of the Quebec Order of Psychologists, moved in several months ago, said one of Yoynova's yoga students, who asked that his name not be used.
He said the couple seemed happy and he saw no signs of violence or other problems.
"Even when they were apart, they worried so much about the kids together that you wouldn't even think they were separated," the man said. "She told me they got back together because they loved their kids so much."
He said the couple had been extensively renovating their house, recently adding a yoga studio, garage and a backyard shed.
"They were happy together renovating and working," he said.
Tzokovitch, he added, seemed to be "the nicest guy on Earth, always joking around."
The daughers "were two beautiful young ladies," he added. "Eva was just in her prime, 17, and the little one, Alice, was just a little sweetheart, a real firecracker, with beautiful long hair, always joking around."