RIVERSIDE, Calif. (CNS) — The family of three whose bodies were found in a burning home in Riverside were remembered during a community vigil one day after the suspect was killed by San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies in Needles.
During the Saturday night vigil, neighbors told local media the three were a husband, wife and the couple's youngest daughter who lived at the home on the 11000 block of Price Court and were said to be a "neighborly" family that "went out of their way to help the community."
Their names have not been released by authorities, but a GoFundMe account identifies the three as Mark and Sharie Winek and daughter Brooke Winek.
Meanwhile, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department confirmed to City News Service the suspect died at the scene of a lethal force encounter with deputies Friday and that the shooting was connected to the Riverside Police Department's investigation of the deaths of three people found apparently murdered inside the burning home in Riverside earlier that day.
The circumstances of the shooting have not been released.
"This is a multi-agency investigation and it's taking time to sort through and confirm all the details," a statement from the San Bernardino department said.
Riverside police were dispatched shortly after 10:30 a.m. Friday regarding a report of some type of disturbance regarding a man and woman near the home on Price Court, said Officer Ryan Railsback of the Riverside Police Department.
"While officers were on their way, we got other calls of smoke and fire being seen," he said, adding that it took firefighters "a few minutes to put the fire out."
Firefighters found the three people — a man and two women — dead inside the home, Railsback said.
Railsback said there was "clear evidence" the victims did not die as a result of the fire,' the Los Angeles Daily News reported.
"It appears the reason why we went out to the call (the man and woman) may have left in a vehicle," he said.
The woman involved in the original disturbance call was taken into law enforcement custody at some point, and Railsback said late Friday that police were not looking for any more suspects.
"This whole thing is complicated and it's going to take a lot to unravel," Railsback said. "It's still unraveling and it's going to take a bit of time."
The GoFundMe appeal describes Mark Winek as "a loving Father, Grandfather, Uncle, Brother, and Coach at Arlington High School;" Marie Winek as "a sweet and caring Mother, Grandmother, Sister, and Aunt who cherished spending time with her family;" and "Brooke Winek was a beloved single mother with the biggest heart." It further states Brook Winek "found her most immense joy in following her daughter in the Color guard at Arlington High School."
As of Sunday morning, nearly $3,000 had been donated.
Riverside police urged anyone with information regarding the fire and the three deaths to call 951-351-6050.