The West Whiteland Township man who was found shot dead alongside his wife and two sons on Sunday had purchased a gun two weeks before police discovered the bodies of the family in the basement of their home , police sources said on Wednesday.
And although no official ruling has been made by county investigators, the first indication is that Deepak Kulkarni, 50, used this weapon to kill his wife, Arti Adya Kulkarni, 47, and their two sons, Shubham, 14, and Sharvil, 7. these sources said.
The Chester County Coroner has not made a ruling on the cause and manner of the deaths of the four victims, other than calling them murder-suicide. A spokesperson for the district attorney’s office declined to comment on Wednesday.
Relatives who worried they could not reach the family in recent days were mourning their deaths.
Arti Kulkarni’s brother Anand Adya described his sister as a “model citizen” and said he and his family were overwhelmed with grief. He declined to comment on the news on Wednesday that Kulkarni had recently bought a gun and may have killed his family.
“They certainly didn’t deserve this,” he said in an interview. “Arti was the most devoted wife and an even more devoted mother, sister and daughter. I was lucky to have her as a sister.
Adya, who had not heard from her sister for more than a week, worried on Sunday after a friend of Kulkarni contacted her, saying the father of two was not answering her calls or his SMS.
Worried, Adya drove to the townhouse her sister and husband were renting in a housing estate behind Exton Regional Rail Station. When his knocking on the door went unanswered, Adya called the police, who were able to gain access to the house using a garage door opener inside one of the family’s cars.
In the basement, police found the four family members dead from gunshot wounds, police said.
The last time Adya spoke to her sister was on January 17, during a virtual Zoom celebration for their father’s birthday, he said. She looked like herself as usual, he said, as did her husband.
Looking back, he said, there have been times in recent months when the plans he made with his sister failed, canceled at the last minute by Kulkarni without much explanation.
“It was obvious,” Adya said. “She wanted to meet, but he wouldn’t let us.”
Adya described her brother-in-law as friendly, but also somewhat secretive. Kulkarni struggled financially early in their marriage, he said, and often asked her for loans. Things seemed to stabilize about five years ago, Adya said, but her brother-in-law applied for another loan in December.
If his sister was upset, he said, she never said it.
“I would ask Arti if everything is fine, and she would never say anything,” Adya said. “And during our celebrations, until January 17th, there was no idea that things weren’t perfect.”
The couple had been married for 18 years after meeting in their native India, Adya said. They had immigrated to America for their careers: Kulkarni was a software analyst working for Education Management Systems, and his wife was a software developer, most recently employed by the University of Pennsylvania.
The couple’s sons both attended Collegium Charter School, located near Exton, according to the school’s executive director, Marita K. Barber. Mourning counselors have been made available to the boys’ classmates, and the school is making plans to find a way to commemorate them.
“Shubham and Sharvil will remain valued members of our school community and will be forever loved by their teachers and classmates,” Barber said in a statement. “We support those who mourn their loss and their presence will be sorely missed.”