12-gauge shotgun found beside body of NJ man who shot wife, himself
Authorities say a 12-gauge shotgun was recovered next to the body of Scott Sabia Wednesday night after he fatally shot his wife on the front lawn of their Carlstadt home before turning the gun on himself.
According to the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, Carlstadt police responded to a 911 call regarding a shooting at 505 Union Street at about 6:10 p.m. Wednesday. The caller told the 911 operator that there was an armed man in front of the home holding "what appeared to be a long gun."
When police arrived at the house, they found the deceased body of Michele Sabia, 44, lying in the front yard, according to a statement by the Prosecutor's Office.
"Carlstadt Police could not immediately locate the suspect," the Prosecutor's Office said, but believed Scott Sabia was inside the house.
A Bergen County SWAT team evacuated neighboring homes and secured the area "fearing the suspect may still be in the residence and armed with a weapon." Before entering the home, authorities say police attempted to make contact with the shooter via a loudspeaker. When those attempts failed, officers released a chemical agent and deployed a robotic device equipped with a camera to make sure the home was safe to enter.
When officers made their way inside the home, the Prosecutor's Office said they located the body of Scott Sabia, with a 12-gauge shotgun lying next to him. Investigators say he "died of an apparent single self-inflicted gunshot wound." The Bergen County Medical Examiner has ruled Michele Sabia's death a homicide by multiple gunshots. Scott Sabia's death was ruled a suicide, by a single gunshot wound, authorities said.
Police say the Sabia's three children - ages 14, 11 and 9, were all present in the home prior to their mother being shot. "All three safely fled to neighboring homes as the incident unfolded," the prosecutor said.
The Daily Voice of Rutherford reported police officers on the scene helped the children get away from the home by helping them over a fence.
Authorities have not been clear on what actually led to the murder-suicide. Scott Sabia’s Facebook page has several posts in referencing mental health support organizations and depression support. A cousin, Geri Sabia, 72, told New Jersey Advance Media Scott Sabia suffered from depression and seemingly “snapped.”
“Depression is a bad thing. It comes and goes,” Geri Sabia, who lives down the street, said “This time it stayed.”
Neighbor Laura Torres told New Jersey 101.5 said she was not aware of anything that may have triggered Wednesday’s murder-suicide.
“Only those that were in the house probably know why he went on such a rampage. The only ones there were his wife and kids,” Torres said, adding that their grandmother lives next door.
Dan Alexander contributed to this report.
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.