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Brock Mater: Ariz. father and his 2 children dead in apparent murder-suicide

Brock Mater: Ariz. father and his 2 children dead in apparent murder-suicide
Brock Mater: Ariz. father and his 2 children dead in apparent murder-suicide

Brock Mater a 34 year old man and his two young children are dead following an apparent murder-suicide, Surprise police announced Tuesday morning.

Brock Mater, together with his 7-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter, were found lifeless during a welfare check conducted early Monday afternoon.

On that same morning, a concerned woman contacted 911, expressing worries about her children.

She mentioned that she was in the process of a divorce and that her son and daughter had been with her estranged husband since the previous Friday afternoon.

She hadn’t heard from them since, and on Monday, their school called her to report an unexcused absence.

She said she tried calling Mater multiple times and went to his apartment in the area of Bell and Litchfield roads, but she got no answer when knocking on the door, even though his car was parked outside.

Officers responded and also got no answer at the door. Police say the officers then forced their way inside and found Mater and the two children dead from being shot in the head.

Investigators recovered a rifle on Mater’s lap.

Detectives spoke with neighbors who thought they heard the sound of fireworks on Sunday night. That’s when police believe the shooting occurred.

A woman who claims to be the adoptive grandmother of the two children told Arizona’s Family the situation has been so hard to process and she already misses the two kids.

During the investigation, detectives also learned Mater had recently been undergoing mental health treatment.

“It is our understanding that while they were separated, he was going and actively seeking and actively receiving mental health treatment, and that treatment was going well,” Surprise Police Sgt. Rick Hernandez said.

Hernandez said officers had previously responded to Mater’s home due to a mental health crisis last October and that he was taken for treatment at that time.

He stressed that Mater had no criminal history in the city.

“Mental health, domestic violence, it doesn’t know ZIP codes. It doesn’t know socio-economic status, and it can happen to anybody, anywhere,” Sgt. Hernandez said. “The thing we can always encourage everybody to do is if you or your loved one is experiencing crisis, mental health issues, is to seek treatment.”

He said the first step can be to call 988, the suicide and crisis lifeline.

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