LAHORE - A 42-year-old fanatic shot dead his wife and three children, all under the age of eight, before shooting himself at his house in Model Town , police said Wednesday.

The investigators are yet to ascertain the motives behind the gruesome killings, which triggered panic in the posh locality.

All the victims were shot in the head. Later, the man also shot himself in the forehead. “The forensic experts have seized a pistol from the crime scene and apparently it seemed that the man killed his kids and wife before taking his own life with that weapon,” police officer, SI Muhammad Aslam, told this reporter as he left the crime scene.

Basharat Ali, his wife Faiza, 35, and three children including eight-year-old Abdullah, six-year-old Abdul Hadi, and five-year-old daughter Hiba were lying dead in a pool of blood inside a room as the investigators rushed to the spot.

Hadi was lying on the bed while the other four bodies were lying on the carpeted - floor in one of the rooms inside the double-storey building in Q-block Model Town .

Police rushed to the spot soon after Shahzad, a nephew of Basharat, contacted the emergency helpline (Resce-15) and informed the police that his uncle was not picking up his mobile phone. “As we reached outside the house (No 448-A), the caller also told us that nobody was responding to the doorbells even. We had to break open the door to move inside,” a police investigator said.

“The bedroom was also locked from inside. We found five dead bodies lying in a pool of blood as we broke open the door and entered the room.” The police investigators also observed that the ceiling fan inside the room was switched off.

Experts from the Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA) and Edhi ambulance service officials also reached the spot as the police confirmed the killings of five persons of the same family. The bodies were shifted to the Jinnah Hospital’s morgue for autopsy.

According to locals, Basharat Ali had been living on the ground floor along with his wife and three children while his elder brother Liaqat Ali was residing on the upper portion of a five-Marla house for the last several years.

Liaqat, said to be an Accountant at the Lahore Wapda House, was present in his office when the incident took place. His son, advocate Shahzad, disclosed the happening to the police. However, the other family members of Liaqat were sleeping on the upper portion, according to a family member.

“We are unable to understand why the family members (who were sleeping on the upper portion) could not listen to the gun-shots. The killer fired more than five shots,” a police investigator questioned.

A senior investigator said that they were probing into the incident keeping in view various aspects of the happening. “We can’t say anything firmly as this stage. We are investigating the case very seriously and scientifically,” he added.

The police were alerted about the incident at about 3:00pm. Police believe the killings took place at least two to three hours before they were contacted by a nephew of the deceased.

According to initial investigations, the man had mixed some poison in soft drinks before serving it his wife and kids. As they fell unconscious, he shot them one by one and then committed suicide by shooting himself.

According to a relative of the deceased, Basharat had taken more than 24 acre agriculture land on lease in Kasur district. He was also upset since he suffered losses in the business.

Police are also investigating whether bearded Basharat Ali, a farmer by profession, had links to any religious outfit. A police investigator told this reporter that the man haing long beard looks like a “religious extremist.”

A good number of people gathered outside the victim’s house in the evening as the news spread like jungle fire in the entire locality. Police and forensic experts were seen collecting evidences from the crime scene. Further investigations were underway.

In February 2014, eight persons of a family, including three children, were found murdered in their double-storey rented house in E-1 Block of Johar Town. Later, the police investigations had revealed that a chemical engineer killed his two brothers, their wives and children before committing suicide.