Investigators believe the ex-wife of a prominent Atlanta surgeon and civic leader shot and killed their two children before turning the gun on herself.
Christopher Edwards, the chairman of the Atlanta Housing Authority board, learned of the deaths Wednesday evening, a spokesman for the family told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Their bodies were found inside his ex-wife’s upscale Vinings townhouse during a wellness check.
The victims were identified by Cobb County police as 24-year-old Christopher Edwards II and 20-year-old Erin Edwards. Dr. Marsha Edwards, 58, was identified as the suspect in their deaths.
“Dr. Edwards, his extended family and friends are in a state of grief and shock, and privacy of the family is paramount as arrangements are being made,” spokesman Jeff Dickerson said in an emailed statement.
As news of the deaths spread Thursday, condolences poured in from those who knew the family and strangers touched by the tragedy. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and her husband were among the mourners.
“Derek and I join the greater Atlanta community in mourning the loss of three members of the beloved Edwards family,” Bottoms said. “Chris and Erin were beautiful, vibrant and brilliant young adults whom we had the pleasure of knowing their entire lives. They filled the lives of all who met them with joy, compassion and kindness. May the peace of God, that surpasses all understanding, be with the Edwards family and all who had the honor to have known them.”
Cobb police made their way inside the home on Nobility Way around 6 p.m. Wednesday. The gated townhouse community, Vinings Parc East, is about a mile from Cumberland Mall.
It is unclear when the shootings took place.
“Per investigators, evidence at the scene indicated that two victims were deceased due to gunshot wounds,” police spokeswoman Officer Sydney Melton said. “The suspect was also deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
Christopher Edwards, an orthopedic surgeon, serves on the board of trustees of the Morehouse School of Medicine and formerly served on the board of Grady Memorial Hospital.
Susan Grant, the vice chairman of Morehouse’s Board of Trustees, sent AJC.com a statement that said, in part: “We wish to convey our heartfelt condolences both to he, his family and his many friends. We will keep them in our prayers.”
Edwards’ son had been the digital content manager for the Atlanta film and entertainment office since March 2018, the city said. Both he and his sister are Woodwood Academy graduates. Christopher went on to graduate from Elon University with a degree in media and arts entertainment.
Erin Edwards was an intern last summer in the mayor’s communications office. A student at Boston University, she was coming off a summer internship with an NBC station in New York.
Marsha Edwards formed MME Enterprises LLC, a medical equipment provider, in July 2015, according to the company’s website.
All three were members of the National Association of Black Journalists, an organization that advocates for and supports black journalists. The organization extended its condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the Edwards family after news broke of their deaths.
The organization’s former president, Sarah Glover, tweeted her condolences for the two “promising young adults and budding (NABJ) media professionals,” whom she met in 2017.
Police have not released any further information about the apparent double murder-suicide, citing an ongoing investigation. Just two days before their deaths, photos on social media showed what appeared to be a happy mother-daughter trip to Italy.
On Marsha Edwards’ Instagram account, she posted that she could “not ask for better children,” adding that she and her son went to Miami recently.
Anyone with information about the shootings is asked to contact the Cobb County Police Department’s crimes against persons unit at 770-499-3945.