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Pakistani American Mother Who Survived Double Murder-Suicide Working to Keep Guns Out of Hands of Domestic Abusers

Pakistani American Mother Who Survived Double Murder-Suicide Working to Keep Guns Out of Hands of Domestic Abusers

  • Anjum Coffland of Chicago is speaking up about the dark day when her estranged husband shot and killed their twin teenage daughters, shot her in the leg, and took his own life.

Almost five years after her husband shot and killed their twin teenage daughters, shot her in the leg, and took his own life, Anjum Coffland is opening up about a tragedy that completely altered her life. The Chicago, Illinois-based Pakistani American, who is still grappling with the murders, spoke to People ahead of National Gun Violence Survivors Week, Feb. 1-7. 

The magazine says Coffland, née Khan, has “dedicated her life to keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.” She told the magazine that she wants “people to understand the gun laws are not there to take the guns away from people who need to protect themselves,” she says. “They’re actually there to stop the guns from getting into people’s hands like Randall.” Coffland is a claim adjuster at Metlife, according to her LinkedIn profile. 

According to the People report, Coffland first joined Moms Demand Action in 2018 “while struggling with the gaping hole left behind by her daughters’ senseless murders.” She later became a member of Everytown for Gun Safety’s Survivor Network, “speaking to other members and publicly about her harrowing ordeal,” the report added. She told People that her hope is “to strengthen gun laws by extending waiting times to get a weapon, particularly if the purchaser has mental health issues or is in a volatile relationship.”

Starting in February 2019, the National Gun Violence Survivors Week focuses “on highlighting the resilience of America’s gun violence survivors, who despite experiencing incredible trauma, is leading work on the ground to support other survivors and advocating for common-sense measures that save lives,” Everytown for Gun Safety. It honors “the 58 percent of Americans who’ve reported that they’ve experienced gun violence firsthand — or that someone they care for has personally experienced gun violence.”

Randy Coffland shot the daughters in the head, killing them instantly, after which he pointed the gun at Anjum’s legs.

The proud mother told People that at age 16, her twin daughters, Brittany and Tiffany, “had their career paths already mapped out.” She said Brittany, a cheerleader and gymnast, wanted to work in hospitality, “a natural choice for her outgoing, gregarious daughter,” who “made friends easily and loved life.” Her twin sister Tiffany, on the other hand, was “a serious student who aced her AP classes, got a job at a local pet store to gain experience for a career working with animals,” her mother recalled to People. 

Although Coffland and her husband were still married, they were legally separated and lived apart. Randall Coffland and his daughters stayed at a luxury condominium in St. Charles, Anjum Coffland was living in her own apartment in a different part of St. Charles. The double murder-suicide took place inside a luxury condo complex in the Chicago suburb. The Chicago Sun-Times reported.

She told People that her estranged husband was upset that the two were separating. A month before the shooting, Coffland said her husband bought the gun he used to kill the girls and himself — the first one he ever purchased. “I had no idea he bought a gun.”

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The tragedy took place on March 10, 2017, a few days before the twins’ 17th birthday. Randy Coffland shot the daughters in the head, killing them instantly, after which he pointed the gun at Anjum’s legs. She recalled him telling her that their daughters were dead and that he wanted her to “live and suffer.” He then turned the gun on himself.

9-1-1 calls released a few days after the murder revealed that Randall Coffland confessed to killing his daughters and admitted that he was going to kill himself as well. Soon after her husband’s death, Anjum Coffland called the police, begging for help for her two daughters. “Oh my God, my husband shot my kids,” the mother frantically told authorities. She was in such distress that she could not remember her own address for dispatchers. 

The body of one of the girls was found on a couch while the other was shot in her bedroom, police said. A 9mm handgun was found near Randall’s body, but investigators are still trying to determine if he owned the gun or borrowed it from someone else. She was later transported to the Delnor Community Hospital. 

A few days before the murder, news reports said officers had responded to a report of domestic trouble on Feb. 9, “involving the couple at a residence in the 100 block of South Fifth Avenue, the Daily Herald reported. The report indicates that nothing physical happened’ during the previous incident and no one was arrested.

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