Sales then shot himself and killed himself with a gun, which authorities say was recovered.
The motive is still under investigation, but the sheriff’s office is investigating whether the attack was the result of an ongoing domestic dispute. Sales was the father of Sara Mann’s two young children, Robin Mann said. And authorities said he once lived in the house where the murders took place.
Maryland court records show that an unidentified person obtained a restraining order against Sales in April 2021 that barred him from contacting the individual or traveling to the person’s home or work.
Robin Mann searched for words to describe the enormity of the tragedy that had befallen his family. He described his niece and nephew as “good kids”.
“What can you say?” Mann said. “They were full of life.”
The sheriff’s office said Sara Mann’s two young children were initially missing after the shooting, but were later found safe at another location.
Investigators and forensic teams are still processing evidence and interviewing family members and friends to establish a motive, the sheriff’s office said. A medical examiner will perform autopsies to confirm the cause of death for each victim. The sheriff’s office initially said all five victims were shot, but later clarified that some were stabbed.
The sheriff’s office said deputies responded to the home in the 3000 block of Wildflower Drive in La Plata shortly before 4 p.m. Friday for a report of a shooting. Authorities said the owner met them at the front door and came home from work to find five people dead inside.
Detectives are still trying to determine when they were killed and are creating a timeline of events, but the sheriff’s office said authorities don’t believe the victims were long dead when they were found.
Diane Richardson, spokeswoman for the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, said investigators worked through Friday night at the large single-family home in the Agricopia neighborhood, piecing together what happened. The house, about 30 miles south of DC, is on a residential street.
“It was obviously something that affected the whole community,” Richardson said. “There were many people in the immediate vicinity who gathered together to cry. It was tragic for the neighborhood, the family and even the officers who responded. Our hearts are heavy.
Robin Mann said her brother is a former doctor who now owns a home improvement business. He said that Kai Mann worked with his father and Sara Mann worked in cosmetic surgery. Her Facebook account also lists her as co-owner of the home improvement business, MSH Signature Home Improvements, and indicates that she used to work at a coffee shop. Sommaly Mann wrote on her Facebook page that she was from Laos.
Sales was convicted of misdemeanor assault and robbery in Maryland, but no felonies were reported in state court records. People who answered the door at an address listed for sales declined to comment and relatives could not immediately be reached for interviews.
Authorities said the incident was “isolated” at home and there was no threat to the public.
There were a large number of emergency vehicles at the scene Friday night, but Saturday morning the block was quiet. People were seen hugging outside the house but declined to comment.
The neighborhood is lined with two-story brick and siding homes on half-acre lots that have neatly trimmed yards dotted with newer trees. Several bouquets of flowers were left on the front porch of the Mann home, which was still decorated with pumpkins and small Halloween figurines.
Neighbors said they were shocked by the sudden outburst of violence, and none of them heard anything unusual on Friday afternoon.
Darin Mann and others listed as living at the address could not be immediately reached by phone on Saturday. Robin Mann said his brother was in shock at the tragedy and didn’t want to talk.
A resident interviewed on Friday described the street where the shooting occurred as quiet, where “nothing ever happens”. She said she didn’t know anyone living in the house who seemed likely to be involved in such an incident.
Monika Mathur contributed to this report.