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Man kills son and himself at YWCA

Software engineer Muni Savyon shot his nine-year-old son dead before taking his own life at a US YWCA office.

An adult supervisor was present when the 54-year-old, of Manchester, New Hampshire, took out a handgun and shot Joshua Savyon of Amherst, before shooting himself around 10am local time on Sunday, the attorney general's office said.

The father sent an email to a friend suggesting he was suicidal before the shootings, said Rabbi Levi Krinsky of Chabad Lubavitch in Manchester.

He said Savyon had been depressed after recently returning from his brother's funeral in Israel, but he had seen him last week and had no concerns he would harm himself or someone else. "What would provoke him to take his life and his son's life? I don't think anyone can figure that out," said Mr Krinsky, who added that Savyon attended synagogue occasionally. "My heart goes out to the family."

On Sundays, the Young Women's Christian Association centre is open for supervised child visits and custody exchanges.

Mr Krinsky said the man and the boy's mother shared custody of the boy after parting years ago. Law enforcement officials said the relationship had been contentious at times and Savyon had previously threatened to kill himself, his son's mother and their son.

But Ellen Savyon Vig, who was once married to Savyon and had remained friends with him after their 1997 divorce, described him as a kind-hearted person.

She said he was especially close to his brother and he loved his son, trying to give him varied experiences. "He was non-violent. He would try to help anyone he could. He was a really nice guy," she said from her home in Massachusetts.

Born in Israel, Savyon was a naturalised citizen who lived in several Western states before moving to New England, where he worked as a software engineer, Ms Vig said.

Others were inside the YWCA building when the shots were fired part-way through the one-hour visit. The counsellor who was present at the time managed to escape unarmed, officials said.


From Belfast Telegraph