Danville police are investigating the deaths of a local husband and wife on Monday as an apparent murder-suicide, according to police chief Steve Simpkins.
Preliminary findings indicate Paul Sween shot and killed his wife, Chalan Sween, in their eastern Danville house before holing up in their garage with a vehicle running Monday evening, Simpkins said. Paul Sween, 63, was found unresponsive by police and later died at a local hospital.
There was no immediate indication of motive, and investigators are reviewing whether police had previously been called to the home or had other interactions with the Sweens, according to Simpkins. "We are going to dig into all of that," the police chief added.
"This is obviously a tragedy for the surviving family members. Our thoughts go out to the family," Simpkins said.
The incident marked Danville's second alleged murder-suicide in less than eight months -- after the town had not experienced a murder since 2009.
Police officers responded to the Sweens' home on Cross Bridge Place, off Camino Tassajara near Sycamore Valley Park, around 6:15 p.m. Monday on a welfare check after a neighbor reported fumes coming from the closed garage door, Simpkins said.
When they arrived, officers found Paul Sween lying unconscious in the garage, Simpkins said. San Ramon Valley Fire paramedics transported him to San Ramon Regional Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead, according to the police chief.
Inside the home, officers discovered the body of 55-year-old Chalan Sween, dead of an apparent gunshot wound, Simpkins said, adding that a firearm was recovered from the scene.
Simpkins said based on the preliminary investigation, Chalan Sween appeared to suffer one gunshot wound some time on Monday but those findings are pending confirmation by a medical examiner. The autopsies are in progress, the police chief said.
No one else was in the home when officers arrived, Simpkins said. Police deemed the incident was a "closed family event" and no outside people were involved, he added.
Paul Sween worked as a real estate broker associate in the San Ramon Valley. Chalan Sween's employment was not immediately clear, according to the police chief.
Danville police detectives now find themselves immersed in a second murder-suicide investigation since July.
On July 6, police said 77-year-old Edward Perry shot his wife, Patricia "Pat" Perry, to death before killing himself in their Crow Canyon Country Club home. Pat Perry, 67, was a retired San Ramon city employee who had also served as San Ramon's first poet laureate.
About the town seeing two apparent murder-suicides in less than a year after almost six years without a murder of any kind, Simpkins said,"I don't have anything specific to attribute to that."
"Sometimes there are family difficulties and troubles. It's nothing you can really relate to other types of crimes," he added. "Our hearts go out to the families."