Mother Charged With Killing Her Two Children

In a neighborhood of neat lawns and backyard swing sets, two young bodies were carried out of a red
brick Cape Cod-style house, past a small statue of two children
playing with a bicycle.
Police say Gail Lynn Coontz, a widowed single mom and college
student, killed her son and daughter before going to the University
of Louisville on Thursday and brandishing a gun in a counselor's
The bodies of Greg Coontz, 14, and Nikki Coontz, 10, were found
after the campus incident when city officers responded to a
university police request to check on the children. Both died of
multiple gunshot wounds, Louisville police spokesman Officer Phil
Russell said.
"It appears they were shot in their sleep," said Jo-Ann
Farmer, the chief deputy coroner for Jefferson County.
Gail Coontz, 37, was charged with two counts of murder. She was
also charged with one count of terroristic threatening for pointing
a handgun at an officer in the campus incident, university police
Maj. Kenny Brown said.
"It just all seems like it's going to be a bad dream and I'm
going to wake up from it," said Patty Schneider, who lives across
the street from the family.
She said Greg would run from the school bus to the house every
day, while Nikki would arrive home later, get the mail and stroll
"For their sake, I hope they were asleep, so they didn't know
it was their mother," Schneider said.
Coontz was arrested after giving her handgun to a counselor at
the health services building, Brown said.
"When we were able to open the door and go in, the student and
the counselor were both sitting on the couch," Brown said.
Coontz was taken to a hospital psychiatric ward, said university
President James Ramsey, and was later transferred to the Louisville
jail. Officials there did not know whether she had a lawyer.
Coontz has been a student in the college of arts and sciences
since fall 2006 and had not declared a major, university spokesman
John Drees said.
The school sent safety alerts to student phones, cell phones and
posted one on its Web site. The campus was not locked down,
university spokeswoman Cindy Hess said.
Police offered no motive for the slayings of the children, who
Russell said had been shot sometime in the past day.
Russell and neighbors said Coontz was a widow.
"She was a good mom," said next-door neighbor Sheryl Hayven.
"I would have never thought anything, nothing like this would have
indicated this to me."
Associated Press writers Rebecca Yonker and Bruce Schreiner
contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 28, 2008 at 07:10 PM
    My thoughts and prayers are with this family. May God watch over and keep you!!!
  • by chasity Location: richmond on Mar 28, 2008 at 06:36 AM
    that is sad y would a sick person do that to their kids if u didnt want to have kids then dont go around and make them it is sick that u would do that
  • by Anonymous on Mar 28, 2008 at 06:35 AM
    They are at rest with the Lord now...God bless this family and our prayers are with you.
  • by c Location: fkt on Mar 28, 2008 at 04:20 AM
    This is such a sad story! I know circumstances can be overwhelming at times, but I just cannot understand the killing the children for any reason. After all, they didn't ask to be born, so why punish them! People are so hopelessness, problems at every turn, & a government that could care less about families. Life is hard, but you have to do the best you can & make do with what you have, YOU JUST DON'T GO AROUND KILLING OTHERS because of YOUR PROBLEMS! Moreover, there is still NO EXCUSE on God's green earth for killing children! NONE!
  • by Kimberly Location: Williamsburg on Mar 27, 2008 at 08:56 PM
    This just sickens me so badly to know that a "mother" could do this to her own children. You can tell that Jesus isn't far from coming back. CRAZY or INSANE, that woman needs to suffer as those beautiful children did. God Bless their souls and they are walking with the Lord and out of this awful world where so many terrible ppl are. I have to say one thing, May God have mercy on her soul when her time comes!!!!
  • by Me! Location: Ky on Mar 27, 2008 at 05:07 PM
    I don't know this lady or anything about her. But for a mother to take the lives of her two children....something had to have happened to her mind. The news said she was a widow. How long and what were the circumstances surrounding her husbands death. She may have had a complete breakdown. Then again, as mean and cruel as the world is today, she may have just murdered them for the heck of it.So sad.
  • by peggy Location: nicholasville on Mar 27, 2008 at 11:37 AM
    It saddens me to hear about 2 children thathave been killed most likly by the hand that feed and nursed them loved them till something somewhere went alfully wrong may GOD be with the family that is left.
  • by me Location: ky on Mar 27, 2008 at 10:22 AM
    this is so sad what in the dear lord is our world coming to?all of this child abuse and mudering of little insent children god help us all!


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