UPDATE: Both victims identified in fatal Ashland shooting

8 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago Friday, November 03 2017 Nov 3, 2017 Friday, November 03, 2017 5:55:00 AM CDT November 03, 2017 in News
By: Emily Hannemann, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
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ASHLAND – A shooting in Ashland late Thursday night left an engaged couple dead.

It happened in the couple's home on the 500 block of Nickman Road just before midnight.

According to police, the couple – 36-year-old Jessica Willits and 42-year-old Travis J. Parker - died from gunshot wounds before police arrived.

It is unclear what led to the shooting. A police officer who spoke to KOMU 8 News described the scene as "a mess."

Authorities said there was no danger to the public early Friday morning, though it was not clear if there was a suspect in the case. A KOMU 8 News crew on the scene said police had left the scene by 6:00 a.m.

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Ashland Police all responded to the scene.

Asia Monika Rhorer, who lives nearby, told KOMU 8 News she heard two gunshots shortly after midnight, and said “ten or more” police cars and an ambulance arrived on scene.

"This is something I would never expect to happen here. It was really shocking," Rhorer said.

Another neighbor and friend of the couple also shared her reaction. 

"I'm blown away. They moved here in the middle of the summer and our daughters spent quite a bit of time together. I met Jessica a couple of times and she was very friendly," Brandi Lancaster. 

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department is in charge of the investigation. Autopsies on the couple are scheduled for Monday.

The Sheriff's Department said in its statement there is still no current threat to the community, and that the investigation is still continuing. 

[This story has been updated to include the names of the deceased.]

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