ELKMONT, Ala. (AP) — A 14-year-old boy admitted to killing five members of his family, including his three younger siblings, in a slaying that rattled a small Alabama town, authorities said Tuesday.
Limestone County sheriff’s spokesman Stephen Young said the boy called 911 at about 11 p.m. Monday. He met deputies on the driveway and told them he heard gunshots upstairs while he was in the basement and he ran out the door. The teen later confessed to being the one who pulled the trigger, Young said.
“Upon being confronted with some of the inconsistencies, he did admit to shooting the five family members. All five were family members and all five lived in the residence,” Young said.
The suspect’s 6-month-old brother, 5-year-old sister and 6-year-old brother were among the victims. The adult victims were identified as the 38-year-old father of the suspect and the teen’s 35-year-old stepmother. In a later statement, the sheriff’s office said the children were stepsiblings of the suspect.
He faces murder charges and is being held in a juvenile detention facility. Young said he could face adult charges, including capital murder.
Authorities didn’t describe any possible motive. They did not release the teen’s name because he is a juvenile. The Associated Press is not naming the adult victims because that would identify the underage suspect.
The boy later led investigators to a 9 mm handgun tossed on the side of the road near the residence, investigators said. The sheriff’s office said the weapon was in the home illegally, but did not elaborate.
The slayings rocked the quiet community of Elkmont, a tiny town of 500 just northwest of Huntsville and not far from the Alabama-Tennessee border.
“This is a community that has a lot of healing to do right now,” Young told reporters.
The stepmother worked as a special education teacher in Huntsville, according to her page on the school website.
“I have been in education for over 10 years working with students in all walks of life. I am happily married with a great husband and four beautiful children,” she wrote on the school webpage.
A woman who answered the phone at a relative’s home said she couldn’t comment right now.
“The whole town is just shaken by it,” Elkmont Mayor Tracy Compton told The Associated Press. “It is just total shock and disbelief. It’s hard to process.” Compton said he can’t remember the last time the town had a murder.
Compton lives about a half-mile from the family. He said he remembers the teen riding up and down the road on his minibike. “It’s just hard to believe that’s the same person.”
Young told WHNT that the 14-year-old attended Elkmont High School.
“Please be in prayer for our school and community. We will have extra counselors at school today,” Elkmont High School tweeted.