National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – An attorney is speaking out on behalf of a grieving San Francisco woman, whose young child was killed in a murder-suicide.

San Francisco police found the bodies of her ex-husband and her 9-year-old son, Wednesday night in the Marina District. 

The tragedy is believed to have followed a bitter dispute over medical decisions regarding the boy.

Whether the 9-year-old should be vaccinated was just one of the arguments the parents were having over their son. 

Family law attorney Lorie Nachlis says the horrid act was more-so about a father who was unwilling to give up control and suffered from untreated mental illness, resulting in this tragic murder-suicide.

A terrifying act of violence results in the killing of 9-year-old Pierce O’Loughlin. 

His father is accused of shooting the boy and then turning the gun on himself at an apartment building on Scott Street in the Marina. 

The tragedy follows a divorce from 5 years ago and bitter disputes between Pierce’s parents over what was best for the boy, says attorney Lorie Nachlis.

“I think it is undeniable that Pierce’s father suffered from untreated mental illness which resulted in his taking the life of his son and his own life,” Nachlis said. 

Pierce’s mother Leslie Hu was seeking sole custody of Pierce which would allow her to make medical decisions on his behalf such as getting vaccinations.

However, Nachlis says vaccinations were not the sole reason for Pierce being killed.

“Pierce wasn’t killed because of a disagreement over a stuffy nose and he wasn’t killed over a disagreement regarding vaccinations. He was killed for more complex reasons,” Nachlis said. 

Pierce was a student at Catholic Private School Convent & Stuart Hall in San Francisco.

The school sent KRON4 a brief statement saying:

“We are devastated by these events and we are praying for this family, but we cannot comment on any of the details.”

Nachlis, a veteran in family law, says these types of cases are rare but undiagnosed and untreated mental illness can lead to unpredictable results.

“He punished Leslie with the ultimate act of violence, killing her child, and she will suffer as I believe was intended for the rest of her life,” Nachlis said. 

The family is right now asking for privacy during this extremely difficult time. 

San Francisco police are continuing their investigation. 

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, you’re encouraged to call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255