State police "render safe" hand grenade found in home of apparent murder-suicide

By By Johnathan Manning / American Press

State police confirmed that a hand

grenade was found in the home of an apparent murder-suicide south of

Lake Charles Monday.

Charles L. Russell, 65, is believed to

have killed his wife, Sandra G. Russell, 69, shot himself, and set

their south Lake Charles home at the corner of Dolphin Drive and

Elliott Road on fire midday Monday, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony

Mancuso said.

A cause of death has not been

determined for Sandra Russell, whose body was found in the back of

the home, because firefighters were forced to pull back when a

possible explosive was found in the home, Mancuso said.

What appeared to be a hand grenade was

found in the kitchen, Lake Charles Police Chief Keith Murray said.

Firefighters pulled back 200 feet and the Louisiana State Police bomb

squad was called in, Murray said.

The bomb squad removed the hand grenade

by remote means, then “rendered it safe,” state police Troop D

spokesman James Anderson said, but provided no further details.

Witnesses told sheriff's deputies that

the incident followed a domestic dispute, Mancuso said.

When a

passerby saw Charles Russell bloody in the street and asked him if he

needed help, he requested the fire department be called, Mancuso

said.

When Lake Charles firefighters arrived at the scene, they

found Charles Russell in the doorway, Fire Chief Keith Murray said.

A faint heartbeat was felt, and he was taken to a local hospital

where he died, Mancuso said.

Firefighters were first called at

11:38.

Much of the single-story dwelling caved

in during the fire.

Murray said a large force of three

engines, two tankers and two ladder trucks went to the scene.