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Jimmie Johnson has spoken out for the first time following what authorities described as a “murder-suicide” involving his in-laws and nephew.
A month after the tragedy, Johnson released a statement on his Instagram account expressing gratitude for those who have reached out.
“Our family is devastated by the profound loss of [Terry] Lynn, Jack and Dalton Janway,” Johnson wrote. “We have been humbled by the outpouring of love and support during this unthinkably sad time and remain grateful for all of your compassion.”
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The parents of Johnson’s wife, Chandra Janway, along with the seven-time champion’s 11-year-old nephew, were found shot to death in their Muskogee, Oklahoma, home on June 26, the New York Post reported. Jack Janway, 69, his wife Terry, 68, and their grandson Dalton were found.
Reports indicate that it was Johnson’s mother-in-law, Terry, who shot and killed her husband and grandson before calling 911 to report that someone had a gun, then quickly ended the call. She then turned the gun on herself and took her own life, police said, according to the New York Post.
Police arrived at the home to find a body lying in the hallway just inside the front door. They then heard gunshots and pulled the body out of the home before asking anyone else inside to come out, the Post reported. They found the other two bodies in a different part of the house.
Police have not said which bodies were found where.
Johnson canceled his participation in a race at a street event in Chicago the weekend of the tragedy.
Muskogee Mayor Marlon Coleman told Fox 23 that he knew the family since Jack was a prominent chiropractor in the town.
“It was traumatizing to find out that a long-standing family who had made so many contributions to our community was involved in this type of incident. It was even more bone-chilling to find out there was a child involved,” Coleman told the outlet. “I knew Dr. Janway. Dr. Janway has worked on me, we’ve been acquaintances for a very, very long time since I’ve been in Muskogee. Just knowing that it was him and his family took a different toll on me.”
It was not the first tragedy suffered by the Janway family.
In 2014, Jordan Janway, Chandra’s younger brother, was killed in a skydiving accident, KNSD-TV reported at the time. Jordan was described by the outlet as a seasoned skydiver who died following a midair collision. Jordan’s death came just hours after Johnson finished second in a race at Martinsville Speedway.
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