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Stonington Woman Kills Two Grandchildren, Herself at Lake of Isles

Police say Debra Denison, 47, picked up her 2-year-old and 6-month-old grandsons from a North Stonington day care and shot them, then herself.

A 47-year-old Stonington woman took her 2-year-old and 6-month-old grandsons from their day care provider Tuesday, drove to Foxwoods' Lake of Isles golf course and shot and killed the children with a .38-caliber handgun before turning the gun on herself, according to Connecticut State Police.

At 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, state police issued an Amber Alert after receiving a call from the mother of the children. Police confirmed for Patch later Tuesday evening that Debra Denison, the boys' grandmother, picked up the baby and toddler from Kidds and Co. day care in North Stonington and drove off with the children and the gun in a 2002 White Chrysler Town & Country minivan with a CT registration of 445-ZAZ. In the Amber Alert, state police said Denison is "bipolar and has medical conditions."

Day care center co-owner Christine Hare said that Denison had previously picked up the boys, and that they had been notified Tuesday the grandmother would be picking them up that day. Tuesday was Alton Perry's second birthday. The boys' parents are Brenda and Jeremy Perry of North Stonington.

State police troopers and detectives were called in to work the investigation, and area police agencies were notified and given the descriptions of Denison and the children, 6-month-old Ashton Perry and 2-year-old Alton Perry. State police at Troop E in Montville confirmed that Denison had left a suicide note.

At about 9:30 p.m., according to a press release issued late Tuesday by state police, Troop E received a 911 call that a vehicle with three injured people inside — two of them children — was found parked near Lake of Isles.

According to the release, troopers and local EMS personnel responded to the scene and confirmed the vehicle matched the one in the Amber Alert. Denison and the two children were pronounced dead at the scene.

Late Tuesday night, state police continued to block the entrance to Lake of Isles Road, and the Eastern District Major Crime Squad responded to the scene to investigate. The Office of the Chief State's Medical Examiner will conduct an examination to determine the cause and manner of death.

At Debra Denison's Sherwood Drive home in Stonington late Tuesday, the house was dark except for a solitary lamp lit in the living room. No one answered the door.

Early Wednesday along Norwich-Westerly Road (Route 2) in North Stonington, a state police cruiser blocked the driveway of a home with all its lights on and several cars parked in the yard.

According to the Connecticut Judiciary website, Denison has a criminal conviction for reckless driving from 2003 but no other Connecticut police record. 

Numerous attempts to reach Connecticut State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance for additional details were unsuccessful.

Related coverage:

  • 'They Were Beautiful Children'

— Jessie King, Bree Shirvell, Elissa Bass and Megan Bard also contributed reporting to this post.

Editor's note: this article was updated at 7:55 a.m., Wednesday to correct the name and location of the day care center and to add information about Denison's access to the boys at the center.

Local February 28, 2013 at 01:27 PM
Due to the nature of comments above, I'd like to prevail upon Bree to remove all comments and ability to do so for this piece-
PJO February 28, 2013 at 02:09 PM
Just a reminder this is a comment section to a news article about a horrific event in a family's life. To you, it's a news article and you have every right to comment on it. To me, and anyone else with a beating heart, it's a place to show kindness, support and character. Those who only show those qualities on an obituary guest book need to take a good, hard look in the mirror. So I repeat, this is NOT the appropriate place for opinions and comments that pile more pain and hurtful words on top of the family's grief.
E W March 01, 2013 at 07:53 PM
What you don't realize is that they went to knock on the GRANDMOTHER's door (Denison), the Mother and Father of the children-their last name is Perry. Please do not jump to conclusions without reading and re-reading for complete comprehension.
E W March 01, 2013 at 07:56 PM
In order to end the violence, the ITEMS of destruction must first be taken away. Why has the US become so complacent on allowing ANYONE to purchase guns. Guns should only be used/owned by Police officers. The British are SO RIGHT to have this thought process. Perhaps it was WRONG for the COLONIES to pull away from England? We could learn a HELL OF A LOT from the English. AND SINCE WHEN DOES THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT BOW DOWN TO SAUDI PRINCES?????
REVMAN March 03, 2013 at 03:38 PM
EW--It is not the GUN she set out to do those poor children harm and did it that way,just imagine for a minute if she chose another way,just imagine.

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