Police in North Carolina say a man killed his girlfriend and two of her children, wounded three of their siblings and then turned the gun on himself in a triple murder-suicide.
Asheville Police Chief Tammy Hooper announced at a press conference on Thursday that Maurice Laron Garner, 35, attacked the family Wednesday night after arguing with his girlfriend at the hospital where she worked.
Hooper said 32-year-old Erica Nichelle Smith was killed, as were her 15-year-old son, Keithan Whitmire, and 13-year-old daughter, Harmony Smith.
A 10-year-old boy who was grazed by a bullet called 911 for help. An 8-year-old and 12-year-old also had non-life threatening injuries in the shooting.
Erica’s sixth and youngest child, a sixth-year-old boy, was not at home at the time of the shooting and was unharmed.
The chief said Garner’s body was found in a car nearby with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It doesn’t appear that Garner was the father of any of the children.
According to the police chief, the incident began unfolding earlier in the day when Garner came to his girlfriend’s place of work at Mission Hospital and the couple got into an argument.