Father in US murders son then self at YWCA offices
APMANCHESTER, New Hampshire -- An Israeli-born software engineer shot his 9-year-old son to death before taking his own life during supervised visitation at a YWCA office, officials said Sunday.
August 13, 2013, 11:48 am TWN
An adult supervisor was present when Muni Savyon, 54, of Manchester, took out a handgun and shot 9-year-old Joshua Savyon of Amherst before shooting himself around 10 a.m., the attorney general's office said.
The father sent an email to a friend suggesting he was suicidal before the shootings, said Rabbi Levi Krinsky of Chabad Lubavitch in Manchester. Krinsky said Savyon had been depressed after recently returning from his brother's funeral in Israel but he had seen him last week and had no concerns he would harm himself or someone else.
“What would provoke him to take his life and his son's life? I don't think anyone can figure that out,” said Krinsky, who said Savyon attended synagogue occasionally. “My heart goes out to the family.”
On Sundays, the Young Women's Christian Association center is open for supervised child visitation and custody exchanges. Krinsky said the man and the boy's mother shared custody of the boy after parting ways years ago. The couple's marital status wasn't clear; Krinsky said the couple was divorced, but law enforcement officials said the two were separated.
Law enforcement officials said the relationship had been contentious at times and Muni Savyon had previously threatened to kill himself, his son's mother and their son.
But Ellen Savyon Vig, who was once married to Muni Savyon and had remained friends with him after their 1997 divorce, described him as a kind-hearted person. She said he was especially close to his brother and he loved his son, trying to give him varied experiences.
“He was nonviolent. He would try to help anyone he could. He was a really nice guy,” she said from her home in Massachusetts.
Savyon was active in Libertarian causes, Vig said, and was a twice-defeated candidate for the New Hampshire Legislature, most recently in February.
Rabbi Krinsky said he had no idea that Savyon was capable of violence, much less harming his own son. “We have to be more and more alert to mental illness and people who're depressed,” he said.