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Doctor, wife dead in murder-suicide in Sherman Oaks

June 16, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A husband and wife were found dead in a Sherman Oaks neighborhood after an apparent murder-suicide.

Dr. Alex Michaelson, 39, and his wife Vera Michaelson, 32, were found by paramedics on the driveway of their gated home in the 15000 block of Sherview Place at about 6:40 p.m. Wednesday.

Police said the husband shot and killed his wife before turning the gun on himself. Investigators were interviewing family members Thursday to piece together a possible motive.

Though their bodies were found Wednesday evening, police believe the shootings actually happened between 11 a.m. and noon. A neighbor said she heard four gunshots within that time frame.

Alex Michaelson was a doctor of internal medicine at Tarzana Providence Medical Center and also had a private practice. His wife had just finished dental school in south Florida.

Authorities said Alex Michaelson did show up for work Wednesday but told colleagues he had to leave early due to an emergency. A friend checking up on him called police when there was no answer at the home.

The couple has two small children, ages 5 and 7. They are staying with relatives in Orange County and were not at home at the time of the shootings.

The family had just moved into the home about three weeks ago and police said there was no history of problems at the residence.

Investigators said no note was left behind at the scene.

Neighbors were in shock in the quiet community, where most keep to themselves.

"Terribly shocking. Who knows what was going on, you know, with finances, but with two young kids? That's just crazy," said neighbor Diane Lynch.

Another neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said they seemed to be a nice and loving couple.

Vera Michaelson's parents were at the couple's home Thursday but did not want to speak to media. They did say they thought their daughter and her husband were very much in love and never saw such a tragedy coming.


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