Mother, Father, Toddler Dead Following Murder-Suicide

WILKES-BARRE -- A mother, father, and toddler were found dead following a murder-suicide in Luzerne County.

State police say a father killed his ex-girlfriend in Wilkes-Barre, then drove the couple's young son to nearby Pittston Township where he killed the boy and himself.

Sharae Thompson was just 21 years old. Friends say she was hoping to find a career and provide for her 3-year-old son Xander.

Stunned family members arrived on McLean Street on Saturday after learning the devastating news.

According to troopers, Zackary Yashkus, 23, shot and killed Thompson in the driveway of an apartment house in Wilkes-Barre. Then, he drove the couple's 3-year-old son to Pittston Township, shot the toddler who was sitting in a car seat, and then turned the gun on himself.

Officers found the father and son inside a vehicle on the median of Interstate 81. Yashkus was dead at the scene. The little was boy rushed to the hospital but did not survive.

Friends say they feared something like this would happen, because they say Yashkus was abusive to his ex-girlfriend.

"I have always worried about Zack. He's always just--I don't know," said Tanya Luton, a friend.

According to court papers, Thompson was found inside her Jeep. Police later towed it away.

A neighbor recalled seeing the young family getting in and out of the same vehicle.

"They always parked here and I would speak to the baby, and the mother would say hi. Cute baby, real cute. He would have the baby and she would have the baby," said neighbor Leona Flannery.

After Thompson was discovered dead, neighbors held out hope for hours that her son would be found safe, but as more stunned relatives arrived, breaking down in tears, the full horror of what happened was revealed.

"No one deserves this, but it's just shocking, so shocking, you know?" said Malinda Hunter, victim's friend.

So far investigators have not released what may have motivated Yashkus to take those two lives and his own.

15 comments

    • Russ

      Nah, thanks, but I don’t think so. Too many pacifists around Mr. Milktoast. Sick and tired of “TOLERANCE” gone too far which then results in this???? Didn’t you read the previous info indicating that this tool was a piece of garbage going way back?? Too many excuses for people who just flat out are “DOING REALLY BAD THINGS”.

  • Russ

    What an absolute piece of garbage of a coward…taking a baby out like that. Bulldozer his remains down to the sewer authority where he belonged in the first place.

  • G B S

    Obviously from what the friend stated the SIGNS were there and no one did anything!!! Wow how horrible!! R.I.P momma and baby

  • AreYou KiddingMe

    Back in 2012 this guy slashed this same woman’s throat after they broke up – she ended up with a 5 inch scar on her throat. The charges were dismissed because she refused to testify against him. This was in the news back then. This guy was never going to let her get away from him alive.

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