Four members of a family were found shot to death in a home south of downtown New Orleans on Thursday in an apparent murder-suicide that authorities say may have been planned by one or both parents.

The family was discovered at a home in Harvey after a man called 911 around 7:50 a.m. local time and told authorities they would find four bodies in the home, the Parish Sheriff told reporters. Jefferson, Joseph P. Lopinto III.

The parents were in a bedroom in the house, he said. It was not clear where the other two victims, a 20-year-old man and a 14-year-old boy, were located.

Their names have not been released as authorities try to notify next of kin, but Lopinto said the father was a former police officer. He did not disclose the agency where the man worked.

The 20-year-old appeared to be the woman’s biological son and the man’s stepson, the sheriff said. A sheriff’s office spokesman said Thursday they are still working to confirm the 14-year-old’s biological parents.

Lopinto added that the couple appeared to be having financial difficulties, calling it a «homeless situation.»

«The house is pretty deplorable inside, but there are some notes along with weapons that indicate that it looks like it’s going to be some kind of murder-suicide, either one or two,» he told reporters.

Lopinto said that «some of the information might lead me to believe that they decided to do this together, the parents,» but he did not elaborate, adding that the coroner’s office will make the final determination.

He cautioned that the sheriff’s office is still investigating, saying, «I don’t want to speculate too much because that may not be the case, but let’s look into that.»

There was «more than one weapon accessible,» Lopinto said, but it’s unclear which type or how many were used.

The family also had a dog that was taken in by an animal shelter, he added.

A sheriff’s office spokesman declined to answer additional questions from NBC News, citing the ongoing investigation.

Lopinto told reporters that he was not aware of any prior 911 calls to the home.

The murders followed another murder-suicide in the area, around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday nightthat appeared to have developed between two brothers who had an argument, Lopinto said.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741, or visit for additional resources.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or the threat of domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for help at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or go to for anonymous and confidential online chats, available in English and Spanish. Individual states often have their own domestic violence hotlines as well.

Advocates at the National Domestic Violence Hotline receive calls from both domestic violence survivors and people who are concerned they may be abusive to their partners.