Elderly Couple Found Dead In Shed
VISALIA, Calif. (KMPH) —
"It was a shock to everyone. Half of the place was crying and in shock. We were very shocked," Bill Lyon said.
Bill and Dolores Lyon have lived in Westport Village for about 11 years.
They say when word got around about what had happened at a neighbor's house, the tight-knit community was in disbelief.
"It shakes the whole community," Lyon said.
Visalia Police say Sunday afternoon, a family member of Thomas and Billie Lou Bush, both 80-years-old, found what appeared to be a suicide note in their house.
They immediately called police, who came over and found the couple dead in a shed behind their home.
They both had been shot.
"They were next to each other," Sergeant Paul Esquibel, Visalia Police Department, said.
People who live at Westport Village tell KMPH News Thomas had cancer and Billie Lou suffered from dementia.
Visalia Police wouldn't comment on their specific illnesses, but did say they were referenced in the suicide note.
"The victims did have some medical conditions, but again, I can't go into specifics of that. But it was explained in the note as well," Sergeant Esquibel said. "They did reference and apologize to the family for what was about to happen."
The Lyons say Thomas and Billie Lou were great to be around.
"He was the nicest guy. She was very nice," Lyon said.
In fact, every year Bill puts on a show for the retirement community and Billie Lou was recently in it.
"She was Colombo. We had a Dragnet sequence and she was Colombo," he said.
As police try to figure out if the Bushes each took their own lives or if both died at the hands of one, their neighbors are left just as confused.
"It's more than sad, it's shocking. You look around and you say, these people in here are elderly people and they're supposed to go on their own, not like that," Lyon said.
Visalia Police say autopsies were conducted on the Bushes Tuesday afternoon, but the results have not yet been released.
They also say the gunshot residue tests won't come back for a couple weeks.