Mother, son found dead in apparent murder-suicide after West Town standoff

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Kevin and Sean Purcell said they did everything they could to help their brother with alcoholism and mental illness. (WLS)

A mother and son found dead in an apparent murder-suicide and a five-hour standoff with police in Chicago's West Town neighborhood were identified Wednesday.

Kevin and Sean Purcell said they did everything they could to help their brother, 58-year-old Christopher Kelly Purcell, with alcoholism and mental illness.

"My brother has made remarks about how much he hates us. He's very bitter, but I didn't know he finally had the capacity to do something like this," Kevin Purcell said.

Authorities said Christopher Purcell stabbed his 84-year-old mother, Loretta Purcell, before barricading himself inside his apartment in the 800-block of North Wolcott Avenue.

One of the brothers came to the apartment Tuesday night to see what was wrong. That's when he said he was shot at. He got away just in time. The brothers said at that point, they believed their mother was already dead.

Police responded to the scene around 5:05 p.m. Tuesday. Officers had the neighborhood locked down until around 10 p.m.

"I saw a swat team run through my neighbor's backyard. It was really dramatic scene," said Nina Pourahmadi, a neighbor.

In the end, Christopher Purcell shot and killed himself. When police entered the home, they found him and his mother deceased.

Loretta Purcell had owned multi-unit building since the 1970s. She allowed her son to live downstairs.

"I'm not sure how he managed to do it, but he talked her into coming down there. I don't know if they had a fight or whatever, but he ended up killing her," Kevin Purcell said.

The family has no idea where Christopher Purcell got the gun. The brothers said their tragedy points out the need for tougher gun laws when it comes to the mentally ill.

"That's what America needs to put a stop on. I know we are trying to, but we need to step up the measures," Sean Purcell said.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Related Topics:
standoffmurder suicideChicago - West Town
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