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By Mandy Thomason , Staff Writer
Coppell Police and Fire departments responded to a call to the 500 block of East Bethel School Road at 8:13 p.m. referencing a dead person at the residence. When police arrived, they found 47-year-old Theodore Senchyshyn and his wife, Victoria Senchyshyn, 45, dead in the couple’s bedroom.
The Dallas County Medical Examiners office determined that Mrs. Senchyshyn died of multiple gunshot wounds. Her death was ruled a homicide.
The medical examiner determined Mr. Senchyshyn died of gunshot wounds of the head and neck. His death was ruled a suicide.
“We are still responsible to go ahead and continue the investigation process to make our ruling,” said Coppell police spokesman Lt. Steve Thomas.
Thomas said no one else was present at the time the deaths occurred. The 14-year-old, Austin, discovered his mother and stepfather, but another family member called police.
John and Julie Harrison, who describe themselves as friends of the couple, said Austin was with his biological father that day. He had returned home to change clothes en route to a lacrosse game when he discovered the bodies.
Julie Harrison said Mrs. Senchyshyn worked as a drug and alcohol counselor for Plano ISD for approximately four years and that the couple had been married for three years.
“She was an excellent communicator and mentor,” Julie Harrison said. “She helped a lot of people and gave them the best she had.”
Julie Harrison said she considered Mrs. Senchyshyn her best friend and that she was aware that the couple had problems.
“There were some issues, but nothing like this,” Julie Harrison said. She added that she spoke with Mrs. Senchyshyn on Sunday night and that she gave no indication of trouble or danger.
“He had just been put on medication, antidepressants, and I think it had a lot to do with this,” Julie Harrison said.
John Harrison described “Ted” as a good dad and loving husband. “He loved that 14-year-old boy and called her ‘bunny,'” he said.
John Harrison said Mr. Senchyshyn worked for Texas Instruments and coached a lacrosse team. He said they called Austin’s father’s house on Tuesday to check on the boy.
“He’s pretty bad,” John Harrison said. “It’s hard. He loved his mama.”
Neighbors on the corner of Bryan Lane and east Bethel School Road said they arrived shortly after the first police responders.
“Austin came over and gave me a big hug and was crying,” said Art Saldana. “I asked him what was wrong and he just said, ‘they’re dead.’ He was so upset, I could hardly understand him.”
Saldana, 18, said he and his family had been friends with the Senchyshyns since they moved into the home two years ago. The Saldanas, who lived in the home across the street for 21 years, said they often shared family events with the Senchyshyns.
“They were great people,” Sarah Saldana, 20, said. “When they moved into the house, they came over to introduce themselves and brought a fruitcake.”
The Saldanas said neighbors gathered Monday night to express their shock and concern. He said many neighbors received phone calls asking if their families were safe after the couple’s address was falsely reported.
“It really hits home when it’s across the street,” Art Saldana said.
Art Saldana said he was never aware of any problems between the couple.
“I’ve spent a lot of time with Ted, and he never did anything to lead me to believe he could anything like this.”
However, Art Saldana recalled a time about a month ago when the couple was having a party at their home. He said Mr. Senchyshyn and Mrs. Senchyshyn’s brother had both been drinking and became confrontational. Mr. Senchyshyn told the brother to leave but was ignored.
“He pulled a knife out and told him to get out of the house,” Art Saldana said. He said Mrs. Senchyshyn came over to the Saldanas and asked for assistance in helping to quell the argument. Art Saldana said Mr. Senchyshyn was later arrested after the brother went to the police.
Sarah Saldana said a cousin saw Mrs. Senchyshyn working out at the YMCA on Monday afternoon. She said Mr. Senchyshyn usually arrived home from work shortly after 5 p.m. and that the couple never indicated that any problems existed.
“Every time you saw them in the yard, you’d have to go over there and talk,” Sarah Saldana said. “I look across the street now and everything looks normal. It’s still sinking in.”
On Tuesday, lights were still on inside the home and the newspaper still on the front lawn. Neighbor Jane Shafer, who lived directly across the street, said that except for the slowed traffic, everything appeared as usual.
“They were very friendly people,” Shafer said. “I can’t see it of either one of them. You just don’t think it’s going to happen in your neighborhood.”
Thomas said the woman’s son is currently in the custody of family members, though they are not aware of any future plans for the boy’s care. Other family members were expected to arrive Tuesday to assist.
“We’re still in the process of interviewing to find out about what the status of the family was and what precipitated this,” Thomas said.
Contact staff writer Mandy Thomason at 972-538-2116 or firstname.lastname@example.org.