The death of a 12-year-old Herrin boy and his father in the early hours of Christmas Day has been ruled a murder-suicide, according to the Williamson County coroner.
Coroner Mike "Junior" Burke said the autopsies indicate that the father, Richard Lowe, shot his 12-year-old son, Gavin Lowe, in the home on North Park Avenue. Authorities say he then set the houseon fire before shooting himself.
Gavin was a sixth grade student at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in Herrin.
His funeral will begin at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 31 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, 316 W. Monroe St., Herrin, officiated by Monsignor Ken Schaefer.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 30 also at the church.
It is not known at this time if or when there will be a service for Richard Lowe.
Herrin police responded to a 911 call at 2:49 a.m. on Dec. 25, from someone reporting a house fire on North Park Avenue. Herrin firefighters discovered the bodies while battling the flames and both were pronounced dead at the scene by Coroner Burke.
The tragedy is being investigated by the Herrin police and fire departments, the Illinois State Fire Marshal, the Illinois State Police, and the Williamson County Coroner.
Funeral arrangements for Gavin Lowe were entrusted to Leesman Funeral Homes of Southern Illinois under the direction of Devin McCluskie and Joni Binkley-Ross.