Four people are dead, and a fifth person critically wounded, in a murder-suicide outside of Atlanta, Georgia, Fox News is reporting.
Forsyth County Sheriff Duane Piper confirmed that all four of the victims lived in the same home.
32-year-old Matthew Fields, who authorities say is the shooter, was known to be having relationship troubles with 37-year-old Rebecca Manning; as of this post, it’s not clear if Manning was Fields’ girlfriend or his wife. Manning and her two sons, 8-year-old Jared Smith and 9-year-old Jacob Smith, were killed in the shooting murder-suicide. Manning’s father, 75-year-old Jerry Manning, was critically injured. Fields then turned the gun on himself.
Piper said there is no known motive for the crime at this time.
“We’d like to find a motive. There’s no reason that any of us are ever going to understand to wipe an entire family. We have absolutely no clue at this point what precipitated it.”
The timeline of events leading up to the murder-suicide and afterwards, offers a clearer picture of the incident.
- Some time Tuesday evening, police visited the home where the shootings took place after someone called and asked them to perform a welfare check at the home, according to MSN. Fields was not there at the time. Since there was no sign of any trouble, and the occupants of the home did not cooperate with the police, officers left without taking any further action.
- At about 6:00 a.m., a man called 911 from outside Forsyth County and told the dispatcher that his wife was on the phone with her son, who claimed to have shot four people and was planning on shooting himself. The man claimed that he and his wife were on the way to the home and were about 30 minutes away. The man claimed that his wife was the only person who could talk to the man.
- When police arrived at the home, they found the two children dead in their beds. It is not clear where they other two victims were found. The woman and her father were taken to the hospital; the woman died on the way, while her father remains hospitalized in critical condition.
The home where the murder-suicide took place is described as a single-story double wide (mobile home) in an area of the Atlanta suburbs that is otherwise filled with upscale golf courses and exclusive homes.
[Image courtesy of: Shutterstock/Ilya Andriyanov]