Vigil held for New Orleans woman who killed kids, self

Vigil held for New Orleans woman who killed kids, self

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Family and friends of a New Orleans woman who murdered her children before turning the gun on herself gathered for a vigil Monday night.

Anger, confusion, sadness; those are some of the feelings of Michelle McCullum's relatives who came together to remember her and her two small children who died last week.

The group sang, lit candles and laid teddy bears by the makeshift cross, marking the spot where McCullum's SUV was found Thursday. Police say a relative called them early that morning, saying 25-year-old McCullum had possible intentions of harming herself and her children. Hours later, their bodies were found in her SUV on Old Gentilly Road in New Orleans East. All had sustained gunshot wounds.

Family members wore T-shirts at the vigil with a picture of 5-year-old Caden and 3-year-old Cylie. Their father, McCullum's husband, was also in attendance, too overcome to speak.

Friends say the deaths underscore the need for better mental health care in New Orleans. "It's hard, but I hope God looks down on all of his children," Julia Collins said.

The children's grandmother, Crystal McCullum, said, "If you have anybody - anybody - that you know that needs help, just help them please."

Several NOPD officers also attended the vigil, to pay their respects to the family. The deaths had a profound effect on many members of the department, particularly those who were first on the scene.

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