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RIVER RIDGE, La. A 52-year-old man shot and killed his 16-year-old son before turning the gun on himself in an apparent murder-suicide in River Ridge, La., the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office said.

According to Col. John Fortunato, the Sheriff's Office received a call around 11 a.m. Friday from the ex-wife of Mark Tarto saying she had not heard from her son Matthew.

She requested a 'residence check,' Fortunato said, and deputies went to the house with her.

When deputies arrived at the home at 335 Celeste Ave., they found the door unlocked. Once inside, they found Mark Tarto dead in the living room with a gunshot wound to the head, Fortunato said.

Matthew Tarto was found in a bedroom, also with a gunshot to the head, and deputies believe he had been dead for several days, Fortunato said.

Matthew Tarto was a sophomore at John Curtis High where he played on the football team.

J.T. Curtis said Tarto was a fine young man and that the incident didn't make sense as the father and son appeared to be very close.

'It would be hard to defeat him as a young man,'said Curtis. 'He had some medical problems as a kid and he overcame them with hard work and dedication.'

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