The victims, whose names have not been released, were a 37-year-old man, a 39-year-old woman and two boys aged 7 and 10 years old, Guilderland Police Chief Carol Lawlor said at a press conference.
Lawlor offered scant details on the crime, including how the four people were killed on Wednesday. Local and state police as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating the killings.
The victims had lived at the house in Guilderland, a town just outside Albany, for two years, officials said, but declined to confirm whether they were related.
Neighbors told local media outlets that a Chinese family lived at the home, and some neighbors said they believed the family ran a casino there. Lawlor declined to comment on this or confirm the victims’ nationalities, although she said that Cantonese and Mandarin interpreters were helping police interview witnesses and people connected to the victims.
Police arrived at the home on Wednesday after a relative of one or more of the victims called 911. A sister of one of the victims was taken into police custody after she collapsed in the yard at the scene, Scott Coburn of the New York State Police said at the press conference.
David Soares, Albany County’s district attorney, said there was no sign that other Guilderland residents were in danger.
“Let’s just say our preliminary findings would indicate that this is not an instance where neighbors should be concerned and people should be living in fear,” he said- Reuters