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Daybreak residents rally to support mother of boys killed in apparent murder-suicide

One of the blue ribbons tied around trees near a Daybreak home where a father reportedly shot and killed his young sons before turning the gun on himself. (Photo credit: Paul Nelson)

SOUTH JORDAN — Investigators have identified the two young boys reportedly shot and killed by their father in their Daybreak home Tuesday afternoon.  And neighbors are trying to rally around the boys’ mother, but many of them are still struggling with how to cope with the killings. 

The two victims were identified as Seth Osborn, 8, and Ezra Osborn, 10.  Police say both died after their father, Brian Osborn, 41, shot them before turning the gun on himself.  The boys’ mother says she found her younger son when she returned home from work. Medics soon rushed Seth to the hospital, but he was soon pronounced dead.

The organizers of a GoFundMe account raising money for the funeral expenses call Ezra an “artistic, imaginative boy who loved to throw parties.”  They call Seth a “ball of energy” who loved to play outside.

Blue ribbons in Daybreak to honor the boys

Neighbors have tied blue ribbons around the trees near the home in honor of the boys.  Many neighbors say they were too upset to speak on the record, but they described the children as being very popular and friendly. They had other kids over to their house to play all the time.

Russ Olsen lives across the street from where the shootings occurred. He says it was very difficult to explain to his children that Seth and Ezra were dead.

“It was hard for one of my kids.  He played with them more than some of the others,” Olsen says.  “He was worried about the situation and didn’t understand.  I think it’s hard on kids, especially when they don’t understand things like this.”

People living near the boys say they didn’t know about the alleged history of domestic violence between Osborn and his estranged wife.  Olsen says he learned about it while watching the news.

“They had their problems, and they obviously kept them quiet,” Olsen said. “It’s sad and, like everyone, I wish we could have done more.”

“How could he do it?”

Other neighbors are wondering why Osborn would shoot his own sons.  They say even though the couple had separated, it appeared they created a good relationship which allowed Osborn to see his sons while their mother worked.  Investigators say the alleged domestic violence behavior appeared to have stopped.

“The last call that we got involving those two was at the end of November 2019,” according to South Jordan Police Lieutenant Matt Penington.

Investigators are still unsure what Osborn’s motive may have been.  Pennington says they’re trying to glean information from electronic devices taken from the Osborn home.

“We served a warrant on where he had been living and got a few things we need to go through,” Pennington said.