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American Carnage: Woman killed family, herself in triple murder-suicide

(KEEGO HARBOR, Mich.) — Autopsies show a suburban Detroit woman fatally shot her husband, son and daughter before killing herself. ...

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sabato 20 gennaio 2018

American Carnage: Man shot his son, daughter and her fiancé before killing himself


An Alabama man who recently separated from his wife fatally shot his son, daughter and her fiancé before turning the gun on himself, police said.


“This man, for whatever reasons, decided to destroy his family, which is heartbreaking on many levels,” Calhoun County Sheriff Matthew Wade told People.
Tony Parker phoned 911 around 1:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon, telling authorities he “killed some people and that he was going to kill himself,” according to the Anniston Star.
He also reportedly phoned his sister to confess to the crime and his plans to commit suicide.
When deputies arrived at his White Plains home, they discovered the bodies of Parker’s 12-year-old son, his 19-year-old daughter, Heather Parker and her 20-year-old fiancé, Brandon Roberts.
They later found Parker dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at a convenience store three miles away from the residence off Chinch Creek Road, according to the newspaper.
While authorities are still investigating a possible motive behind the murder-suicide, Wade said it could be rooted in his recent separation.
“His wife separated from him in the last several months and he hadn’t been taking it that well,” Wade told People.
Deputies are also looking into why Parker’s children, who didn’t live with him on a regular basis, were at their father’s home Thursday afternoon.
The Calhoun County community of White Plains was in shock Friday as the news settled in among its approximately 800 residents that their hometown had been struck by unprecedented violence the previous day.
Little more than a quiet, rural assemblage of farms, modest houses and a few shops and restaurants spread across a valley and the tall hills that surround it, the name White Plains evokes the expansive fields of cotton that pepper the area. On Friday, some of the more shaded areas of the community remained lightly dusted with bright white snow, though most of it had already melted away.
But to many of its residents, the quiet town has been tainted by the events of Thursday, when White Plains 49-year-old Anthony Wayne Parker shot and killed his 12-year-old son, his 19-year-old daughter, Heather Parker, and her fiance, 20-year-old Brandon Roberts at his modular home on Chinch Creek Road. He proceeded to kill himself in front of a nearby abandoned store, according to the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office.
Stacie Cunningham, a server at Wagon Wheel Restaurant in White Plains, said that the "tight community" was "in shock," and that several customers told her they could not fathom how such a gruesome and tragic crime had taken place there.
"Out here in White Plains, things like that don't happen. We're a farming community. We're country. We greet people with, 'Hey y'all,'" Cunningham said Friday afternoon. "Things have been pretty quiet today. In a sense it's the mourning of it. It's almost like [residents] lost their virginity. It's even come home to here now: Highway 29, Mayberry."
Sheriff Matthew Wade said Thursday that his office is investigating the murder-suicide.
"Working hard to find answers to give to the family as to why this occurred," Wade said. "This is definitely devastating to the family and to us as well."
From the outside, the run-down home with the American flag hunger over the porch where the Sheriff's Office says Parker committed the three murders seemed to show no signs of any police activity - though large, loose dogs kept anyone from getting near enough to know that for sure - nor did the shop that he committed suicide in front of, the Rabbittown General Store. Parents picked their children up from White Plains High School shortly before 3 p.m. Friday, and people bought gas and snacks at Seward's Market and folks worked in their yards.
But despite the appearance of normalcy, White Plains was left reeling by the murders, according to Sandra Cheatwood, owner of Big Daddy's Cafe in town.
"It's just tragic, that's all you can say," she said. "I don't think we've had anything like this. Not here in this community. It's a shock."
A passenger in a car that pulled up in front of Parker's home Friday afternoon identified herself as his best friend's wife. She broke down crying as she struggled to convey her response to the crimes that happened inside the trailer just yards away. She added that she believed the media should leave the family - including Parker's wife who was out of state when the murders took place - and other members of the community alone while they mourn the young people who died Thursday.
The killings came as a total surprise to people who knew the Parkers, according to Cunningham and several area residents who declined to give their names, as did nearly a dozen others on Friday.
"One of my guests said he had seen Mr. Parker a little while ago, maybe a week or so ago, and everything seemed normal. So that's why it was just a shock," Cunningham said.
"It's scary that something like that can happen with no warning. It makes you want to go to your neighbors and say, 'hey, y'all, how are you feeling? And get a cup of coffee or something."

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