PRICE — After a Price man fatally shot his wife and then himself early Sunday morning, their four children were left without a mother and father.
David Scott Donaldson called the Price Public Safety Dispatch just before 3 a.m. Sunday to report he shot his wife, Shaniel Donaldson, and planned to shoot himself as well. When authorities arrived at the scene, the couple's four children were safely removed from the residence and the bodies of the couple were found in the master bedroom.
The Donaldsons' children are between 7 and 14 years old. Despite the horrific circumstances they have endured, the children have brought both sides of the family — Shaniel's and David Scott's — closer together and the healing process has begun.
"This is about forgiveness," said Amie Sorensen, Shaniel Donaldson's sister. "We just all want to come together and love each other and start the process of forgiving, and it's all for the children."
The residence where the murder-suicide took place is now covered in paper hearts, an idea the oldest child helped come up with.
"She wanted to do it for her parents, Scott and Shaniel," said Ronny Donaldson, David Scott Donaldson's brother.
Some of the hearts are plain, while others have messages. Though the hearts are just in time for Valentine's Day, they represent more than love: they symbolize forgiveness and healing, and the hearts have been a way for the family to look forward.
It's amazing the amount of strength and support we've shown each other. We can be in the same household and cry together and pray together.
–Robby Donaldson, David Scott Donaldson's brother
For both families, it was natural to come together immediately after the tragedy.
"It's amazing the amount of strength and support we've shown each other," said Robby Donaldson, David Scott Donaldson's brother. "We can be in the same household and cry together and pray together."
David Donaldson, David Scott Donaldson's father, shared a similar experience. When he went to apologize to the other side of the family, they took him in and hugged him right away.
"There has been a welding of these families coming together, that we've become one in heart and mind," he said. "This has been, for us, actually a very sacred experience."
At the end of the day, both families are most concerned for the children and each action they take is to support the children during this difficult time.
"The children need all the love they can get," said Sorenson. "They want to see all of us get along, and just love each other and love them. (The hearts are) a way to heal and try and get past what happened."
Both families invite anyone to visit the house and leave a heart. The house is located at 635 West 300 South in Price.