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Cops: Oceanside couple dies in murder-suicide

Police said a man shot his longtime spouse

Police said a man shot his longtime spouse before turning the gun on himself at an Oceanside condo complex. (July 15, 2013) Photo Credit: Jim Staubitser

In an apparent murder-suicide at an Oceanside condo complex, a man shot his longtime spouse before turning the gun on himself, police said Tuesday.

Christine Braun Johnson, 63, and James Johnson, 73, were found dead when officers arrived about 6 p.m. Monday, Nassau County police said.

Neighbors said the husband was a retired architect-engineer who loved fishing; his wife was an avid tennis player. They said the couple had lived more than 25 years at Brower Oakview Condominiums, a complex of about 45 condos.

Insp. Kenneth Lack, a police spokesman, described the deaths as a murder-suicide. No other details were released.

"They were nice people," neighbor Gil Balanoff said Monday. "They used to have parties at their house and they had plenty of friends. I can't imagine why this occurred."

Balanoff said neither the husband nor the wife had shown signs of distress in recent weeks, though he said both had medical problems. The couple still seemed "upbeat" and "happy," he said.

He said he returned home Monday evening to find police cars and yellow tape cordoning off the couple's town house -- and his neighbors talking about how the bodies had been discovered inside.

"There were some friends who had come by to check on her," Balanoff said.

The couple had two cats, and police were trying to find someone who could care for the pets temporarily.

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