A 35-year-old man barged into his estranged wife’s home in the 8300 block of Buckingham Lane in York Township, Illinois, on Saturday, Sept. 21, viciously beat her and her 9-year-old daughter, and then shot her young son nine times before turning the gun on himself.
Joliet police responded at about 2:45 p.m. Saturday to the incident at Cassandra Tanner-Miller’s residence, and noticed “fresh injuries” on the two surviving victims, Tanner-Miller, 32, and her daughter, The Northwest Herald reported.
The Kendall County Coroner’s office said that 35-year-old Christopher Michael Miller and 18-month-old Colton Michael Miller both were found dead. Miller’s wounds were self-inflicted.
Tanner-Miller and her daughter were transported to AMITA Health St. Joseph Medical Center Joliet to be treated for their injuries, according to CBS Chicago.
Tanner-Miller said Christopher Miller struggled with drug addiction and had mental health issues. He was part of the Illinois National Guard and served in the Army for several years but was never deployed overseas.
On Saturday afternoon, Tanner-Miller said Christopher Miller forcefully opened the door to the porch and with a smile on his face he said, “Are you all ready to die today?”
She tried to fight as hard as she could when he physically attacked her. Tanner-Miller said that she could hear Miller laughing as she slipped in and out of consciousness.
Miller went on to shoot baby Colton two times and then went downstairs to find Tanner-Miller and Camryn. They both were outside while he tore apart the house trying to find them. Miller then went back upstairs and shot 7 more bullets into baby Colton’s body.
Tanner-Miller said her husband was a “murderer and that coward took his life afterward.”
Despite fighting with all of her might, it wasn’t enough to stop Miller, who made his way to Colton’s room and took the boy’s life.
According to The Herald News, Tanner-Miller said that the military did not do enough to protect her and her children from her husband.
“I met the devil that day and they exist. Evil exists and it was in my house,” she said.
Crime Online reported that Tanner-Miller is pushing for laws to make people with records of violence undergo a psychiatric evaluation. She also thinks police should remove weapons from the violent offenders’ homes.
Illinois National Guard spokesman, Lt. Col. Brad Leighton, told the outlet that he’s currently conducting an investigation into the matter.
Amirrah Abou-Youssef, of the Groundwork Domestic Violence Program at Guardian Angel Community Services, said those who experience domestic violence can call the Groundwork program at 815-729-1228, which is a 24-hour, confidential number.