A senior police officer killed his wife and six-year-old girl in a frenzied attack on his family days after being sacked.
Tobias Day, 37, left his two other children with serious injuries before killing himself, detectives believe.
The horror attack at his semi-detached home is believed to have been fuelled by his dismissal by Leicestershire Police last Thursday for misusing force computer systems.
Neighbours and colleagues spoke of their shock over the “respected” former inspector as police confirmed he was fired for “matters concerning honesty and integrity”.
Day killed his teacher wife Samantha and his youngest daughter Genevieve, and attacked Kimberley, 15, and Adam, 13, before taking his own life on Thursday.
A post-mortem examination is expected to clarify whether the victims were stabbed.
The two surviving children are in serious but stable conditions at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.
Residents on the Days’ quiet residential street in Melton Mowbray were said to have heard screams coming from their home.
As officers said they were not looking for anyone else over the attacks, well-wishers laid flowers and balloons near the family home,.
Neighbour Gavin Lucas said Day was well-known in the area.
He said: “I saw Toby out jogging and with his children. He was a good bloke, always said hello. I wouldn’t have expected this from him.”
Paramedics responded to two emergency calls – an hour apart – over the attacks.
Emergency services were understood to have taken Kimberley to hospital after picking her up from nearby Dalby Road at 4.23pm. A second 999 call was received almost at 17.24 after officers forced their way into the family’s house to find the four remaining family members.
Ivan Stafford, chairman of Leicestershire Police Federation, spoke of his shock, saying Day had been “a very capable and respected inspector”.
“It’s absolutely tragic what has happened,” he said. “It’s been a real shock to the country and to Melton. It has had a huge impact on the force and it is important we have time to get to grips with what’s happened.
“We are more concerned for the two remaining children. Our thoughts are with the family.”
Neighbour Samantha Whitfield, who has lived on Robin Crescent with her husband for around 15 years, said she was horrified.
“Its usually a quiet street,” she said. “I’ve never seen anything like this.
“When we saw all the police and ambulances yesterday, we knew something had happened.”
She said her two children had been scared by the events.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission is assessing the circumstances of his sacking before a decision is made over a formal external investigation.
The Rev Kevin Ashby, of Melton Parish Church, said the vicar of Oakham Parish Church had visited the children in hospital. “All we can do is hope and pray that they won’t be left with too many lasting injuries,” he said.
“Melton is going to be very heavily hit by what they’ve experienced last night and this morning. It just doesn’t happen in a place like Melton, is how I think people feel, but it can happen anywhere and what we must do now is rally around and try and give the family as much support as possible.”
Melton MP Alan Duncan was on his way back from a Ministerial trip to the US when the news broke, and he was informed by local police as soon as he arrived.
Mr Duncan said: “This is clearly a most horrible incident where a father has taken the lives of his own family and then himself.
“We must leave the police to conduct their full investigation into all aspects of the incident.
“I have spoken to the leader of the council, who in their own way are fulfilling their duty of care to the children. A moment like this is a shock to Melton, which is a close and stable community.”
Genevieve is thought to have been a pupil at Saint Francis Catholic Primary School in Melton while her brother and sister Adam and Kimberley are believed to attend Catmose College in Oakham.