An apparent murder-suicide by handgun claimed the lives of two Helper men and left five children without fathers early Sunday afternoon.
Helper Police Chief Trent Anderson identified the homicide victim as 31-year-old James Mitchell. The alleged shooter, who committed suicide, was 30-year-old Jeromie Bunch.
Mitchell leaves behind three young daughters and an extended family. Bunch has two young sons, his estranged wife and extended family.
Anderson reported that the investigation indicates that Bunch walked from his house to the home of his estranged wife shortly before 1 p.m. Mitchell was standing on the back porch when Bunch shot him.
Bunch then fled to a garage in back of the house. Police arriving at the scene heard the gunshot that took Bunch's life.
Anderson said Bunch's estranged wife was able to protect the five children in the home by sheltering them in a room away from the assailant. According to records of the Seventh Judicial District Court, the court served a final protective order on Bunch on Dec. 7.
Helper City Police officers were assisted by officers from surrounding agencies at the scene.
"The tragic murder-suicide that took place will have a long term impact on the families of James Mitchell and Jeromie Bunch, as well as the community," Chief Anderson stated.
An account has been set up at Wells Fargo bank in the name of, "Bunch/Mitchell Children," to help with two sets of children who have lost their fathers from this incident, the chief added.