Emotional reaction after Mechanicsville tragedy

MECHANICSVILLE, VA (WWBT) - The tragic death of two Mechanicsville three-year-olds and their father has hit home for many people.

There has been a steady stream of cars stopping by the King's home all day Sunday.

Many of the neighbors knew the King family well, especially the two little girls Madison and Caroline.

News of their deaths has been difficult for everyone to comprehend.

Two empty swings rock back and forth in the wind in front of the King's home. A teddy bear and some bright orange flowers have been placed where neighbors say Rob King used to swing his daughters Madison and Caroline.

Jean Atkins has a grandson the same age as the King twins. Her grandson became good friends with the girls next door.

"It's awful," Atkins said.  "I can't believe something like this has happened right next door to me because he was a great dad and he loved those girls."

She says the girls used to say hello every time they'd see her outside.

"It's a tragedy all the way around, to lose two little girls at such a tender age of three," she said.  "I mean, it hurts. It hurts everybody that's heard the story."

Half a dozen bouquets of flowers have been placed at the doorstep.

Nathan Cox left a bouquet for each child early Sunday morning. He's known the twins' mother for many years.

"As you can imagine, she's quite emotionally upset," Cox said.  "It's very unexpected."

This is the third tragedy in Mechanicsville since just before the holidays. Jyreffe Clark was shot and killed while shooting a music video with classmates in December.

Brett Wells was gunned down at his home just last week.

Dianne Wade also came by to leave flowers with her son Shane. She says it's hard to stomach this much violence in Mechanicsville.

"You don't think this is going to happen in your neighborhood," Wade said.  "With the other older kids that have been killed recently, it's just really hard."

Some of the King's neighbors are working on setting up a vigil for the twins.

Friends of the twins' mother say they hope to have a time and place figured out in the next 24 hours.

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