Police: Danville couple dead in apparent murder-suicide | News | DanvilleSanRamon.com |


Police: Danville couple dead in apparent murder-suicide

Second such incident reported in town since July

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."

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2 people like this
Posted by Renae Wilber
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 24, 2016 at 7:29 pm

The unfortunate collateral damage of gun ownership that no one wants to talk about when indignantly supporting their 2nd Amendment rights. I wonder how many of their Republican friends and family will realize that gun ownership simply isn't for everyone.

2 people like this
Posted by Lori
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 24, 2016 at 9:56 pm

It most certainly is not for the mentally ill.

4 people like this
Posted by Tom
a resident of Danville
on Feb 25, 2016 at 3:57 pm


Let us waste no time in attacking republicans in the face of tragedy shall we...
I suppose most everything you view must be put in terms of D= good R= bad.

Just sick.

4 people like this
Posted by danny
a resident of Danville
on Feb 26, 2016 at 8:31 am

Prayers and condolences to the family and friends.

I wonder if those who are so quick to blame gun ownership also are quick to want prohibition of alcohol since alcohol contributes much, much more to tragic deaths than does gun ownership. Anti-gun proponents need to keep their arguments consistent with the facts, but they don't.

5 people like this
Posted by Renae Wilber
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Feb 26, 2016 at 12:53 pm

Pitiful. Anyone using this as a sounding board for political agenda is a miserable creature without restraint for personal gratification or self restraint. This time my family is the recipient of "hearts, thoughts and prayers."! Feels pretty strange to know the personalities and frailties that can spawn such a tragedy...none of which can be put in anyone's agenda. Pitiful. Free advice: step away from the keyboard.

3 people like this
Posted by danny
a resident of Danville
on Feb 26, 2016 at 6:19 pm

Renae, The community is grieving with you and the families regardless of what anyone's so-called "agenda" may be. Please take care of yourself during this time of tragic sorrow. God Bless, Danny

Like this comment
Posted by Laci Peterson
a resident of Danville
on Mar 1, 2016 at 5:08 pm

Blame gun ownership not three missing FBI guns from Benicia - Blame the mentally ill - not infidelity, or a broken marriage - for a another husband who dumps his wife in the bay - all lives matter_

Like this comment
Posted by Pete Bennett
a resident of Danville
on Mar 1, 2016 at 5:53 pm


A friend of mine was found a few miles east at the Moth Ball Fleet, same window of time BUT you can't find his Obituary, Solano County Coroner won't respond and yes there are more, like cases near Horowitz sealed by court order.
Web Link

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