Neighbors on a quiet Dobson Ranch street say they are surprised following what police are calling a murder-suicide there Saturday night.

Mother and children dead in murder, suicide

A mother shot and killed her two teenage children and herself in a single-story home in the 2500 block of South Pennington, near Dobson and Guadalupe roads at 11:37 p.m., said Detective Steve Berry, a Mesa police spokesman.

Police identified the boys as Ryan Mullaly, 15, and Nicholas Mullaly, 12. The mother was Susan Mullaly, 50. The boys were students at Rhodes Junior High School.

Dozens of friends and classmates who knew the two boys gathered in front of the house in the Dobson Ranch neighborhood late Sunday with candles and balloons to remember their friends, who they knew well. Many hugged, wiped tears and told stories about them.

Berry said the woman's husband came home from work and discovered the bodies and went to a neighbor's house to call police. Berry said the couple had been having marriage problems.

Officers arrived to find the mother dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, and found the boys dead from apparent gunshot wounds as they checked the home.

At the home Sunday afternoon, an orange Dodge Ram sat in the driveway below a single basketball hoop.

Diane Retson, who said she has lived next door to the family for at least 11 years, described the boys as "very well-behaved, very well-mannered."

"They were typical kids," she said.

Retson said the family was "very nice." The mother was a nurse and the father works for an airline, she said.

Police knocked on her door after midnight asking questions, but Retson said she did not hear anything unusual Saturday.

Retson's son, Andrew Lybek-Martori, 21, was visiting his mom Sunday.

"When I used to live here, almost every day the boys rode their bikes through the street," Lybek-Martori said. "It didn't seem like there was a problem. The mom seemed overprotective, but what mom isn't?"

Clint Snyder, 34, lives down the street from the home. He said he often saw the father in the driveway working on cars. Snyder said he and his family have lived there more than 11 years.

"All in all, it's just a family neighborhood. It's pretty solid," he said, noting he did not know the victims' family well.

Cindy Wong and her family just moved into their new home Saturday, two doors down the street from the incident.

"From the neighbors coming out, it seems all the families know each other well," Wong said. "It's just quite a shock."

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