Police say a mentally ill man opened fire inside his North Carolina home, killing his wife and three children before killing himself.
Police said Robert J. Crayton Jr., 45, fatally shot Athalia A. Crayton, 46, Kasin Crayton, 18, and two other children, 16 and 10, on Saturday morning.
We’ve never seen anything like this in our 27 years in this police department,” said Travis Stroud, High Point’s police chief. “Clearly a significant incident for us as a police department.”
According to police, two people in the house fled shortly after 7 a.m. and began knocking on neighbors’ doors, pleading for help.
High Point police Lt. Patrick Welsh said one of those adults was a “direct relation,” while the other was an acquaintance.
It was unclear Monday afternoon what motivated the shooting.
“We may not know why – what goes through a person’s mind when he does something like this sometimes dies with him,” Welsh said. “We do not have any indication right now as to the ‘why’.”
This crime scene was particularly gruesome, and Stroud worries about the officers who could “see what you can’t unsee.”
We must monitor our own officers now. This was a heavy-duty crime scene,” the chief said. “We need to watch out for our own officers’ mental health.”
The same address had been the site of five previous calls to High Point police since 2014, officials said.
Officials said the shooter was the subject of an involuntary commitment on Jan. 3, 2022.
Welsh said he was suffering from some mental illness. “I can’t speak to the reason for the involuntary commitment, but we believe it was taken out by the family.”
Three days earlier, a Utah man took his own life after killing seven members of his family in a murder-suicide in North Carolina.