A crime in Dixon has shaken the police department to its core and left a family, and community members, in mourning.
On Monday, Christopher Michaels, 5, was shot and killed. Police say Christopher’s dad shot the kindergartner, then turned the gun on himself. Neighbors and loved ones find themselves questioning how a father could do that to his own son.
“He had friends that absolutely, completely adored him,” said an emotional Kassondra Michaels, Christopher’s mother and ex-wife of Robert Michaels, speaking of her son.
“He loved videogames, he loved cameras, loved taking pictures, [and] he loved life,” said Christopher’s grandmother, Dalene Jensen. “He did not deserve this.”
“Why would he shoot his own son?” questioned neighbor Stanley Wolzen. “I absolutely can’t understand that.”
Dixon Police Chief Danny Langloss says nine officers responded to the call.
“They worked their way up to the house, up to the second floor, [and] came to a bedroom,” said Chief Langloss. “They found to be barricaded, had to force entry.”
Police found Christopher was found shot in the head by Robert Michaels, 33, his father. Police found the 5 year-old’s father with a gun shot to his head. He was breathing but unresponsive, lying on the ground with a semi-automatic gun next to his hand.
Police say Michaels had asked his son if the 5 year-old wanted to play a video game. They went upstairs. Michael’s then asked his ex-wife to return downstairs and grab something, leaving Michaels and his son upstairs alone. That’s when police say, he opened fire.
Neighbors, like John Schmidt, are left in shock.
“Having a small child of our own, here, nearby to the residence, we didn’t know what to think really when that first happened,” said Schmidt.
Nine Dixon Police officers are now on paid administrative leave to cope with the terrible ordeal.
“This is the worst scene that any of our officers have ever been part of,” said Chief Langloss. “When you walk in and see a 5 year-old in this horrific, graphic sight, after being shot in the head at close range, that’s a scar that’s going to be there forever.”
Christopher Michaels attended St. Anne’s in Dixon. Tuesday morning they held a special mass in his honor. The school also had four counselors on site. School administrators hoped to maintain normalcy for Christopher’s classmates and teachers.