Father Kills Self, Family Over Debt

A man who came home from Las Vegas distraught over gambling debts killed his pregnant wife and three children, then shot himself to death, police said today.

A maid found the bodies in their beds in the family’s neat brick home in this Detroit suburb shortly after noon.

A suicide note left open and held down with salt and pepper shakers was found on the kitchen counter.

In it, 42-year-old Jihad Hassan Moukalled expressed remorse about gambling debts and “clearly indicated he was sorry he had to take the lives of his wife and children,” Police Chief William Dwyer said.

The victims were identified as his wife, Fatima, 31; daughter Aya, 7; son Adam, 5; and daughter Lila, who would have turned 3 on Saturday.

Struggling Business Dwyer said Moukalled, who owns an Oak Park printing business, put his gambling debts at close to $100,000, “but I’m sure it’s much higher.”

“Over the past two years, he’s been making weekly trips to Las Vegas and Atlantic City, gambling large sums of money,” Dwyer said. “According to a statement by one of the relatives, he was gambling all over the place.”

Moukalled had returned home at 4 a.m. today from a three-day trip to Las Vegas.

The parents apparently were shot to death with a gun found in the man’s hands, Dwyer said. The children appeared to have been suffocated.

Brenda Williams, a next-door neighbor, said Moukalled had told her husband in recent weeks that his business had been struggling. Dwyer said the company amassed $500,000 in debts.

The family was last seen Monday night by the maid when she left the house.