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A family shaken by tragedy says they are beginning the rebuilding process.

Josh Womack tells 10News that his family is doing well and holding together. They're asking for prayers and support. He knows the family has a long road ahead, both mentally and physically.

Police say Womack's family got caught up in a deadly domestic situation involving a KPD police cadet Friday night.

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Officers say Michael William Little went to the Womacks' home, shot his ex-girlfriend, her mother and a family friend. Investigators say shortly after, Josh Womack pulled a gun and shot Little. Little and the Womack family's friend Travis Wegener died. The two women survived.

The Knoxville Police Department could not comment on this case, but did tell 10News more about the cadet program, including how background checks are performed and why the program is important.

"It allows an opportunity for young individuals to come into the department, they work in various aspects, and various units of the department to get a behind the scenes look at law enforcement. Usually it's people that are interested in a career in law enforcement and this gives them a great opportunity to see if that might be the right career choice for them,' explained KPD's Public Information Officer Darrell DeBusk.

He says applicants have to be at least 17, but not older than 21. Police cadets are not sworn members of the department. They aren't given guns, but work in the office and in the field to assist officers. Their tasks range from answering phone calls, helping with taking reports. They also assist in parking control in the Fort Sanders/UT Area.

DeBusk says the application process is similar to what a recruit looking to be an officer goes through, including drug and alcohol testing, a background test, polygraph, physical exam, and a psychological evaluation.

"Once they're accepted into the cadet program, as long as they maintain a good working record, no disciplinary issues at all as far as their employment as a cadet, the next time a recruit class comes around then they are submitted to the recruit class so they can continue their education to become an officer," said DeBusk.

DeBusk says the mental evaluation is handled by the city's civil service department.

Josh Womack told 10News his family is hoping to move their mother out of ICU by the end of the day Monday. His sister is out of the hospital. Womack is not facing any charges.

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