Homicides, suicide preceded fire

Investigators have determined that three people found dead in an early morning house fire on April 28 were homicide victims, and a fourth died by suicide, according to Police Chief Jeff Lynn.

The fire was reported at approximately 6:51 a.m. on April 28, at 1530 Tamarack St., space 29, in the Tamarack Ridge Estates mobile home park.

Arriving firefighters found the structure engulfed in flames, which were doused. When investigators entered the residence, they discovered trauma on the bodies of four deceased persons found inside, Lynn said.

The four deceased individuals were identified as: Charlotte Shobert, 2; Johnathon Shobert, 15; Tiffany Shobert, 41; and John Shobert, 63.

The trauma was not consistent with trauma caused by a fire, Lynn said.

“Initial investigators found evidence of gunshot wounds as well as sharp, blunt force trauma.”

Multiple agencies responded to a request for help and assisted with the investigation, including the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office, investigators with the Oregon State Police Arson Investigation Unit, the Linn County Deputy Medical Examiner Office, the Linn County District Attorney’s Office, and members of the Linn County Major Crimes Team.

When investigators completed processing the scene, the evidence located and seized revealed that Tiffany, Johnathon and Charlotte were victims of homicide. Autopsies were conducted by the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s office and confirmed the causes of death.

The cause of death for John Shobert was a single gunshot wound, determined to be suicide. A small-caliber handgun and a torch lighter were located near his body. John Shobert is the suspect in the homicides.

Fire investigators verified that an accelerant, gasoline, was used to start the fire, Lynn said.

“Investigators have determined what happened, they are still seeking to determine why it happened,” he said. “The reality is that investigators may never be able to fully answer that question.

“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the victim’s family and friends during this tragic time.”

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Keenan Martin at the Sweet Home Police Department, (541) 367-5181.