Brother 'shielded' his sister before father shot them dead in murder-suicide

A teenage boy may have desperately tried to shield his younger sister moments before their homicidal father shot and killed them both.

John Edwards, 68, killed his 15-year-old son, Jack, and 13-year-old daughter, Jennifer, at their West Pennant Hills home, in Sydney’s northwest, last week before turning the gun on himself.

Early ballistics reports show Jack may have been killed while “shielding” Jennifer, homicide squad commander Scott Cook said.

“That’s a heroic act,” he told reporters in Sydney on Thursday.

Jack Edwards may have attempted to shield his younger sister moments before they were shot and killed in their West Pennant Hills home. Source: AAP
A woman is seen placing flowers at the site of a makeshift memorial at a property in West Pennant Hills. Source: AAP

Det Supt Cook added the tests were inconclusive pending the final results of crime scene tests.

“I have no doubt the coroner will seek to run an inquest in that matter,” he said.

Killer dad had ‘very rare’ gun permit

The financial advisor legally bought the powerful handguns used in the murders months earlier.

Edwards was believed to have been rejected from several pistol clubs before he was granted a “commissioner’s permit” from the NSW Firearms Registry.

John Edwards, 68, shot dead his teenage children before taking his own life. Source: 7 News

It is understood the permit, which is granted by a delegate of the NSW Police commissioner, allowed him access to train at St Marys Indoor Shooting Centre, northwest of Sydney.

NSW Amateur Pistol Association president Brian Cheers, who has been on the executive team since 1988, says he has never heard of anyone having a commissioner’s permit before.

“It’s very rare,” he told AAP on Wednesday.