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Local

‘A horrific tragedy’ – Police: Dixon dad kills 5-year-old son, turns gun on himself

DIXON – A Dixon man under investigation for child sexual abuse shot his 5-year-old son in the head before killing himself Monday afternoon, the police chief said.

Dixon Police officers and Lee County Sheriff's deputies received a report at 3:37 p.m. of two shots fired at 1014 Fargo Ave. where they found Christopher Michaels dead and his father, Robert W. Michaels, 33, breathing but unresponsive with a semi-automatic handgun lying next to his hand on the floor.

Michaels was taken to KSB Hospital with a gunshot wound to his head, and later was flown to a Rockford hospital where he was pronounced dead, police Chief Danny Langloss said at a news conference Monday night.

Michaels had been under investigation for child sexual abuse since Sept. 12. Although Christopher is not the child he is accused of molesting, Michaels was forbidden from being alone with the boy without supervision, Langloss said.

No further details on the assault were provided.

Christopher, a kindergartner at St. Anne School in Dixon, and his mother, Kassondra, Michaels' ex-wife, went to Michaels' home, where his dad asked whether he wanted to play a video game.

She followed the pair upstairs and, at Michaels' request, left the room to grab something. He slammed and barricaded the door, and she then heard two gunshots. She left the house to get her phone and call the police.

Michaels filed for divorce May 1 in Lee County Court; the petition was granted June 20 and a parenting plan was filed that day, court records show.

"Our heart goes out to the family members who have suffered this horrific tragedy," Langloss said.

"Our officers feel your pain. There is nothing more difficult for a police officer than seeing a young child's life being taken in such a senseless manner. This is by far the worst situation our officers have been involved in."

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