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Two women found dead in St. Louis home were shot

ST. LOUIS, MO – Two sisters were found dead in a north St. Louis home Tuesday morning and first responders suspected a hazardous gas may have been responsible. But late word from the St. Louis police and fire departments tell Fox 2 that the women were shot. Police have told Fox 2 that one of the women was shot in the head, while the fire department confirmed the other victim was also shot.

According to the police department, homicide detectives have taken over the investigation.

The incident occurred in the 3100 block of Whittier Street of the Greater Ville neighborhood.

Both women were said to be in there 50’s and were found by a boyfriend.

One of the women was on the bed, while the other was located on the floor next to the bed. The boyfriend said he noticed blood coming from the mouth of one of the sisters, that’s when he called 911.

Neither woman initially showed any sign of trauma.

Shortly after the fire department responded, some firefighters began to feel lightheaded. There appeared to be elevated levels of hydrogen cyanide inside the home.

“Our crews that were on scene themselves became a little lightheaded. At that point, we brought in our hazardous detection meters and we were getting hits on hydrogen cyanide, so we pulled our crews out ‘til our hazmat team came here and when they arrived and went back and they got two more hits on hydrogen cyanide,” said Captain Leon Whitener, St. Louis Fire Department. “So, at this point, we’re being very careful with our crews and we’re not sure of the cause of death for the two women inside. Right now, there doesn’t appear to be any trauma involved but we have to do a more thorough investigation.”

Firefighters donned hazmat suits to go in the home and open windows to ventilate the residence so police and the coroner could enter.

The colorless gas is extremely poisonous and may smell like old sneakers. Many people can’t detect the smell.

It is not clear what caused the elevated levels of hydrogen cyanide at the scene. But hydrogen cyanide poisoning can result from inhalation of fumes from burning plastic products.

Neighbors said the older sister cared for the younger one who was disabled and say that she recently lost her job and seem depressed which is why they suggested she see a doctor.

Currently, no cause of death has been determined.

An investigation is ongoing.