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Northern California community mourns deaths of teenage siblings

MURPHYS — Grief counselors were scheduled to be on hand Monday at a Northern California high school attended by teenage siblings who were shot and killed by their father before he took his own life, authorities said.

Investigators in Calaveras County also were looking into a motive behind Saturday's double murder-suicide in the mountain community of Murphys, Sheriff's Sgt. Chris Hewitt said. Deputies found Alex Marshall, 17, and his younger sister, Macaila, 14, dead of gunshot wounds. Both attended Bret Harte Union High School in the nearby town of Angels Camp.

The teens' friends told authorities they last had contact with the two Thursday, Hewitt said.

"We do believe that the children were sleeping at the time they were shot," he told The Associated Press on Monday.

The siblings were shot in the head by their father, 54-year-old Phillip Marshall, with a semiautomatic handgun, Hewitt said. Friends of the teens discovered Phillip Marshall lying on the floor at his home in a pool of blood Saturday in an apparent suicide, Hewitt said. The family dog also was shot to death.

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