PITTSBORO, N.C. (AP) — A 66-year-old man fatally shot six relatives in a small North Carolina community over the weekend, then killed himself, authorities said Monday.
The shooting happened late Sunday afternoon in the Moncure area of Chatham County, the county sheriff’s office said in a statement. Evidence indicates that Larry Don Ray shot and killed the six others before turning the gun on himself, Lt. Sara Pack, an agency spokeswoman, said in a statement. Ray was found among the dead. Authorities said they’re still investigating a possible motive.
The sheriff’s office described the area as a “quiet, close-knit community where violence is out of the norm.” Moncure is a community about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southwest of Raleigh.
The victims were identified as Jeanie Ray, 67, Helen Mason, 93; Ellis Mansfield, 73; Lisa Mansfield, 54; John Paul Sanderford, 41; and Nicole Sanderford, 39.
“To lose any family member is devastating, but to lose several at once to unexpected violence is unimaginable,” Sheriff Mike Roberson said in a statement. “There are no words to describe the sense of loss we feel as a community in the wake of this terrible event.”
Authorities released the tape of a 911 call late Monday afternoon.
“There’s a guy in my house shooting right now,” the caller can be heard saying on the tape obtained by The News & Observer, later adding: “Please get somebody here to the house”
The person tells the operator that his father and mother were in the house and that he heard around six shots. The caller remained on the line until officers arrived. It wasn’t immediately clear what relation he or his parents were to the gunman.
On Monday, Mark Childress told the newspaper that his brother’s daughter, son-in-law and mother-in-law were killed.
“Right now, they’re still in shock, and they don’t want to talk to anybody,” Childress said of the surviving family members.