The two 37-year-old Helena residents who died in an apparent murder-suicide Tuesday have been identified as Russell Roman and Rebekah White-Roman, officials announced Thursday.

Police believe the man shot and killed his estranged wife before fatally shooting himself during a child's birthday party at the intersection of Grant Street and Hauser Boulevard.

Rebekah has worked for many years as a residential services specialist at Spring Meadow Resources, a Helena nonprofit that offers group homes and other services to those with disabilities.

"She was just loved by so many people here and by our clients, and she will be missed. She was definitely a part of our family," said Jodie Lineaweaver, human resources specialist at Spring Meadow Resources. " ... She was a key part of what we do here and had such a love for our mission and our clients."

Russell worked at Spokane Bar Sapphire Mine northeast of Helena, according to his Facebook profile.

Rebekah and Russell leave behind three children, ages 6, 7 and 11, according to a fundraising website ( organized by Shannon Reich of Helena. The children are now in the custody of their grandparents, the website says.

"While we can never understand the actions and thoughts one person makes, we can see the path of destruction left in the wake," the website says. "These 3 young, beautiful children must now live the rest of their lives without either parent. This will leave behind a burden of not just 1, but 2 funerals that must be paid for."

As of Thursday evening, those donating through the website had contributed $17,470 toward the $50,000 goal.

Several people called 911 around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to report a disturbance with gunshots fired at Rebekah's home.

Authorities said the man was at the birthday party for a short time before he ordered some of the people to leave and then drew a handgun. The other people ran from the home, and the man followed his wife into the front yard and shot her before fatally shooting himself.

Medical units attempted to treat the man and woman, but both were pronounced dead at the scene.

The Lewis and Clark County Coroner's Office has classified Rebeka's manner of death as homicide and Russell's manner of death as suicide.

Helena Police Chief Troy McGee said officials are still trying to determine whether either of the people involved have had prior encounters with law enforcement.