The retired police officer who apparently shot and killed his two teenage girls as they slept, then shot his three dogs and himself in his garage Saturday, leaving their bodies to be discovered by one of his daughter's boyfriends, had recently spoken with his wife about the possibility of separating, police said Monday.
And on the day before the killings, his wife had gone to police to report an argument over an $80 cellphone bill, said Harrison police Chief Anthony Marraccini, but there was no indication of violence and there had been no history of domestic violence or previous incident reports.
"She didn't want us to pursue it, she just wanted to document it," the chief said.
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Police believe Glen Hochman, a retired White Plains police officer, shot and killed his daughters, 17-year-old Alissa and 13-year-old Deanna as they slept in their beds some time after 2 a.m. Saturday, then went to the garage and shot the family's three dogs before killing himself. Hochman's 50-year-old wife and their oldest daughter, who is 22, were on a planned trip to Mohegan Sun that day.
Hochman's wife and daughter became concerned they couldn't reach the family Saturday and Alissa Hochman's boyfriend to the house to check on them. Hochman's wife gave the boyfriend the passcode to the garage and he found Glen Hochman's body when he opened it that afternoon. He called 911, as did a woman in the car with Hochman's wife who heard her talk to the boyfriend.
Marraccini said police found a five- or six-page note with Hochman's body and that the note "gave some indication of motive," but he did not elaborate on the potential motive at a news briefing Monday. He said the note also indicated premeditation, and included instructions for Hochman's wife. A handgun found in Hochman's hand belonged to him and was likely used in the killings.
Hochman was found dead of a single gunshot wound to the head; his daughters had both been shot once. The dogs were also shot, police said.
Hochman spent 22 years at the White Plains Police Department before retiring recently. White Plains police Commissioner David Chong said Hochman had served with honor and integrity and the department was "shocked and horrified by the news of this unfathomable tragedy."
Marraccini said police went to the home in the Westchester County village of Harrison after a person reported that no one was answering the door. Police found the bodies of Hochman and his daughters at 3:50 p.m.
"It looks at this time that the father killed the two girls and then himself," Marraccini said. He said Monday that there was not yet any official finding of cause of death.
Residents of the upper middle-class neighborhood discussed the shootings in quiet tones as they shoveled snow Sunday.
Howard Hollander, 52, an airline pilot, said Hochman "was always taking care of the property, landscaping, cleaning up the yard."
"The girls said hi whenever they passed," Hollander said.
He added, "There was no indication at all of any problem, that something like this would happen."
Another neighbor, Dante Garritano, 52, an engineer, said he went outside when he saw ambulances and police cars Saturday.
"I walked out and I heard a woman crying, screaming, on her phone, 'My God, they're dead. He killed himself,'" Garritano said.
Alissa Hochman was a senior at Harrison High School, which opened its campus on Sunday for grief counseling.
On the Harrison Central School District website, Superintendent Louis N. Wool said the district mourned the deaths of two girls "both lost to incomprehensible tragedy."