Modesto Murder-Suicide: Brother Describes Chilling Phone Call

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A family of four is dead and relatives are coping with the tragic loss after Modesto Police Officers say a man killed his wife and two adult children before turning the gun on himself.

The tragic news has been unsettling for many in the neighborhood.

"Joe, I just killed my wife, my daughter and my son. And I’m going to kill myself,” Joe Mingham, Steve Mingham’s older brother told FOX40 Friday.

Those were the last words Joe would hear from his brother Steve, after investigators said the retired Modesto school teacher killed his wife and two adult children.

"I called him back, I never had a chance to have any conversation with him at all," he said. "I called 911 immediately."

It was too late. First responders were called to the home near Sharilyn and Sandgate Drive where, according to Modesto police officers, Steve, Jan, and Chad Mingham were dead.

Mingham's daughter, Nicole, was rushed to the hospital.

Joe spent his Friday morning with his niece at the hospital and comforted her as she took her last breath.

“'I love you. I’ll be right here by your side and we’ll do everything we can for you,'” Joe said, repeating his last words to Nicole.

Joe said his brother was going through maritial issues before he died and adds Steve was having trouble with keeping his family together, and Nicole suffered from a brain injury.

"The son he just recently moved in. He was having issues,” Stanley Hightower, a neighbor explained.

Friends claimed Chad had drug problems.

"I could see anger and questioning and I told my brother I could get him help,” Joe said.

Despite the issues the family faced, Joe never saw his brother ending his life as well as his family's the way he did.

"No matter what’s been said that I will stand behind my brother,” he told FOX40.

"Joe, I just killed my wife, my daughter and my son. And I’m going to kill myself."

Joe hopes the way his brother lived the majority of his life will have the more everlasting impression.

"Steve was a very loving, caring father. His wife Jan was a devoted, hardworking mother," Joe said.

Jan worked for Roosevelt Junior High School. In a statement Modesto City Schools released, the superintendent stated:

"We are shocked and devastated by this horrific event. Jan was a long-time Modesto City Schools’ employee and was beloved by Roosevelt staff and students. We will all deeply miss her."

The organization said counseling services will be available for those who worked with Jan.

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