Police consider motive of murder-suicide
Rexhep shot and killed Shukrije, his wife, Saturday morning in their Janesville home, then turned the 9 mm semiautomatic pistol on himself.
Shukrije was shot four times in the chest, and her death was determined to be homicide.
Rexhep died of a single self-inflicted gunshot to the chest, Rock County Coroner Jenifer Keach determined Sunday after autopsies at the Veterans Administration Hospital morgue in Madison.
Janesville police were called to the Menxhiqi home at 12 N. Washington St. at 9:05 a.m. Saturday. Investigators quickly realized they were dealing with a murder-suicide.
On Saturday, Janesville police reported that they had never been called to the Menxhiqi home for domestic disturbances or mental health issues.
But after interviewing the Menxhiqi children, police think the parents were involved in domestic incidents and arguments in the past, but none reached the point of physical violence, said Lt. Tim Hiers, head of Janesville police detectives.
Police still are trying to determine what triggered the extreme violence of Saturday, Hiers added.
Four of the Menxhiqi’s five children were home at the time. The fifth child, a 19-year-old son, was not home when the shootings occurred.
The children stayed at a friend’s home over the weekend, Hiers said, but he was unsure of their plans.
Toxicology results are pending, but police said their initial opinion is that neither alcohol nor drugs were a factor in the murder-suicide.
Police think the gun, a legally owned firearm, had been in the household for some time before the shootings, Hiers said.
The murder-suicide is the second such domestic tragedy to Rock County in less than a month. Shaun Vordermann shot and killed his wife, Jennifer, then killed himself in their Edgerton home in mid-August.
The Associated Bank at 2720 N. Lexington Drive plans to set up an account today for the family. People can donate by bringing money to that location. More details weren’t immediately available.
The couple’s five children were in Milwaukee today, awaiting the arrival of a cousin from Albania, according to information that Janesville public school principals shared with their staffs this morning.
“They are anxious to return to Albania with their parents’ bodies for the funeral and to be with their relatives. At this point they are all planning to return to Janesville,” according to a statement prepared for the principals to read.
The children are ages 9, 12, 16, 18 and 19.
Principals and social workers met over the weekend to prepare to handle the news today, the first day of school, district spokeswoman Sheryl Miller said.
A memorial service might be held at a mosque in Kenosha, according to the school district statement.
“Please be sensitive to students and staff who may have a hard time with this news,” the statement urges staff members. “Refer names of people you are concerned about to the office secretaries to relay to our … counselors.”
The four younger children attend Madison Elementary, Franklin Middle, Parker High and Rock River Charter schools.
Police did not expect the children to attend school today, Miller said.
The school district is making counselors and social workers available today for any child who needs them at Madison and Parker. Franklin and Rock River are holding parent-teacher-student conferences today, so counselors will be available to them Wednesday if needed, Miller said.
Director of Student Services Karen Schulte said officials this morning were deciding whether they would need to announce the news to students this afternoon.
Only ninth-graders attended Parker this morning. The 10th-, 11th- and 12th-graders join them in the afternoon.
—Frank Schultz and Stacy Vogel contributed to this report.