Whatcom County sheriff: Mother, twin 7-year-old daughters shot dead in apparent murder-suicide

A mother outside of Bellingham reportedly shot and killed her twin 7-year-old daughters before turning the gun on herself Friday night, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office. 

The sheriff's office said in a news release that deputies responded about 1:15 p.m. Saturday to a call from someone at a multi-level residence who said he found his landlord and her two children dead in an upstairs bedroom. 

Detectives who responded determined that the children's mother, 55-year-old Michele Boudreau Deegan, shot her twin 7-year-old daughters while they were sleeping and then shot herself.

Detectives said they believe it happened Friday evening and that the primary motive was a custody dispute. 

The sheriff's office has not released any additional information, citing the pending investigation.