Mission Viejo, a tree-lined community with about 100,000 residents, is the second largest master-planned community in the United States. As a master planned community, a great deal of effort was placed in balancing residential, commercial, and community spaces (like parks) in the layout of the city. The net result was a community that consistently has appealed to families. Good schools and a low crime rate also contribute to the high livability marks garnered by Mission Viejo.

Mission Viejo College Dropout Inexplicably Kills Family, Self

The Sheer family called a spacious, hilltop residence on Pacific Hills Drive in Mission Viejo home. By all accounts, the parents and two children were a typical, happy, and generally successful family. The parents were in their mid-50s, a daughter was 15, and a 21-year old son had elected not to return to college.

On an otherwise typical Monday, the Orange County – Mission Viejo Sheriff’s Office was contacted regarding what the 911 caller thought was the sound of gunfire on Pacific Hills Drive. The caller also reported that he thought he heard a male yelling. Law enforcement officers were dispatched to the area. They ultimately left, not finding anything out of the ordinary as they made their patrol around the neighborhood in question.

A day passed and the members of the Sheer family were not seen or heard from by anyone. As a result, a relative made his way to the Sheer residence. Upon entering the home, the relative found all four members of the Sheer family dead, all of them having apparently been shooting victims.

Law enforcement, together with the Orange County Coroner, came to the household and commenced an investigation. Ultimately, it was determined that the 21-year old adult son shot and killed and his parents and sister. He then turned the gun on himself and took his own life. No clear motive for the killings has been gleaned from the evidence and discussions with people who knew the family. 

The Aftermath of the Mission Viejo Murder-Suicide

Murders and suicides are not particularly commonplace in the generally tony environs of Mission Viejo. Murder-suicides are events that are virtually unheard of in this peaceful, upscale Orange County community.

In the case of this particular Mission Viejo murder-suicide, the entire immediate family ceased to exist. In the aftermath of this unsettling, incomprehensible event, relatives of the deceased family were left with the grim task of dealing with everything arising from the gruesome deaths. This included funeral and burial preparations for four people as well as dealing with the cleanup of the residences in which the Sheer family was shot and killed.

When a family loses a member through a violent death like a murder or suicide, the grief that follows can be overwhelming. When a family loses four of its loved ones because of a murder-suicide, the bereavement process truly can seem insurmountable.

The traumatic grief magnifies if survivors of these types of death make the decision to undertake the cleanup of the residence where the shootings occurred on their own accord. In the final analysis, people who’ve lost family members by a violent homicide or suicide should not undertake what technically can be a biohazard cleanup in Mission Viejo on their own. The added trauma of such a task can cause family members even more profound and enduring emotional and mental health challenges.

In addition, a biohazard cleanup in Mission Viejo presents serious and even potentially life-threatening safety risks. Blood and other bodily fluids can be infected with hazardous pathogens, including those that cause diseases like:

  • HIV
  • MRSA
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C

Only a properly trained and equipment biohazard cleanup specialist has the experience and gear needed to undertake this type of challenging task in a safe manner. Equally important, they have the ability to thoroughly remediate a biohazardous situation and restore a residence to a fully livable condition following a homicide, suicide, or some other type of traumatic event.

Traumatic Grief, Depression, Anxiety, and PTSD Following a Sudden Death of a Loved One

As mentioned previously, the sudden, violent death of a loved one (let alone four family members) can result in overwhelming grief and a bereavement process that understandably may necessitate the assistance of an experience grief therapist. There are Mission Viejo grief therapists and counselors that can assist in this manner via group and individual therapy. These grief therapists will arrange for an initial consultation at no cost.

Mission Counseling
27405 Puerta Real, Suite 330
Mission Viejo, California 92691
(949) 412-4381

Anita Jacob
27001 La Paz Road, Suite 403
Mission Viejo, California 92691
(949) 306-1512  

Denise Dunn
28570 Marguerite, Suite L-2
Mission Viejo, California 92692
(657) 245-4059


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