A 14-year-old American boy has shot and killed five of his family members at their home in Alabama, including a six-month-old baby, before throwing away the pistol and calling police, officials say.
- John Sisk worked for a car dealership and was said to have loved his family
- Mary Sisk was a teacher who said she had “four beautiful children”
- The 14-year-old has been charged with five counts of juvenile murders
The shooting occurred on Monday night, local time, in the town of Elkmont, a spokesman for the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office told media.
The spokesman said five people were shot, with three dying at the scene and two later in hospital.
“The 14-year-old caller was interviewed and confessed to shooting all five members of his family in the residence,” it said on Twitter.
According to a later Limestone County Sheriff’s tweet, the alleged weapon was a 9mm pistol which was, “in the home illegally”.
They have identified the victims as John Sisk, 38, the father of the alleged offender, Mary Sisk, 35, the step-mother, and three children — a five-year-old step-sister and two step-brothers, aged six, and six months.
On his LinkedIn page, Mr Sisk identified himself as a “PDI Tech” for a car dealership in Alabama, with duties being to, “put new vehicles in the service to be sold”.
He also listed graduating with “cutting and colour honours and Dean’s list” from cosmetology school Paul Mitchell The School-Huntsville.
The school posted a tribute to Mr Sisk on Facebook, saying they were, “deeply saddened by the loss”.
Responding to the post, Sheena Rockhill said: “My heart is broken. He was a great friend when we were in school. He was so very proud of making the Dean’s list. He worked so hard to do it and that was not an easy thing to do.
“He loved his family so much. I’ll never forget you, John.”
Ms Sisk was a teacher who described herself on Mountain Gap Schools website as, “happily married with a great husband and four beautiful children”.
Originally from New Orleans, Ms Sisk wrote she had a master’s degree in special education from Southeastern Louisiana University. She wrote she was, “currently working on furthering my education with the support of my amazing family”.
Mary Sisk, 35, described herself as “happily married with a great husband and four beautiful children”.
The teenager, who cannot be identified, has been charged with five counts of juvenile murders, but he could be charged as an adult for murder or capital murder.
Detailing the hours after the shooting, the Limestone County Sheriff tweeted the alleged offender called 911 about 11:00pm on Monday (local time).
“He met deputies in the driveway and told them he had been in the basement when he heard shots upstairs. He stated he ran upstairs and heard footsteps, then went out the door.”
The Limestone County Sheriff tweeted that when confronted with the discrepancies in his statement, the teenager confessed and later helped investigators locate the alleged weapon on the side of the road near the residence.
In a Facebook post, Elkmont Mayor Tracy Compton said: “Today, we in the Elkmont community mourn the loss of five of our residents, three of which were the most innocent among us, under the most brutal circumstances.”
The post attracted hundreds of comments, with people also asking to consider the alleged offender.
Janice Stanley said: “Prayers for the family that [is] facing this ordeal and please don’t forget this young boy that did the shooting, something bad happen [sic] to him, I am sure his grief has become real tonight.”
Starr Pepper posted: “This is so sad, we hear of this happening everywhere else and we just assume this would never happen in our little town. Prayers for the other family that has to go through this and with the responders that had to go to the scene.”
The killings follow a rash of mass shootings in the United States, including one at the weekend in Texas, which left seven people dead and 22 wounded, including a toddler.
Last month, a gunman killed 22 people and wounded another 24 in El Paso, Texas, while another assailant killed nine and injured 27 in Dayton, Ohio.
Amid renewed national debate, US President Donald Trump said at the weekend, background checks on gun purchasers would not have prevented recent violence.