A 23-year-old nurse in her third trimester of pregnancy and her two-year-old son were shot and killed by her husband in an apparent murder-suicide, police said after she and her husband got into a verbal argument.
Police found Paiden Nicole Priest, her son, Grayson Alexander Beckham, and husband, David Wayne Priest, with gunshot wounds when they arrived at their home in Van Buren, near Fort Smith, Arkansas, on Sunday.
David, an electrician, was the only one alive, but he later succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital.
“This is one of the worst cases we’ve ever dealt with,” Police Sgt. Jonathan Wear said in a televised press conference after the shooting. “But we do believe this was done by David Priest.”
David was Grayson’s stepfather, the police report said.
According to their public Facebook profiles, he and Paiden were engaged in June and married in August.
Police found Paiden Nicole Priest, 23, right, and her two-year-old son, Grayson Alexander Beckham, dead at their home in Van Buren, Arks.
David and Paiden became engaged in June and were married in August.
David Priest changed his Facebook profile picture on April 15 to an image of him kissing Paiden’s pregnant belly calling her an ‘all round amazing woman’
On April 15, he changed his profile picture to an image of him kissing Paiden’s pregnant belly with the caption ‘My beautiful and all-encompassing wonderful wife, no matter what’.
It’s unclear what the motive was for the shooting, Wear said, but a neighbor reported hearing an argument before the gunshots went off.
The neighbor told police he was sleeping in bed with his wife and woke up to find a bullet hole in the headboard right above their heads.
“My wife and I were asleep and we heard a gunshot,” the neighbor reported. “Then it happened again and we turned on our lights and it looked like a gunshot was coming through our room from the drywall next to it.”
Police were able to retrieve a handgun from the crime scene, they said, and have obtained a search warrant to gather further evidence in an effort to “ find out what happened, ” the local news station said. 4029 News.
David worked as an electrician. Police now believe he is the one who shot his wife and stepson in an apparent murder-suicide
They were found dead in their homes in Van Buren, Arkansas
The bodies of David, Paiden, and Grayson were sent to Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock for autopsies
The bodies were also sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock for autopsies.
Friends and family have since paid tribute to Paiden and Grayson, and her unborn son, Elijah, on Facebook.
She had celebrated her baby shower the week before.
Allie Price, who identified herself as Paiden’s cousin, posted a photo montage she made of Paiden and Grayson, writing, ‘RIP to my beautiful cousin and her lovely babies.
“I know you and your dear boys are dancing up there.”
Deann Steele, Paiden’s mother-in-law, also wrote a tribute, identifying Paiden as her “only daughter-in-law.”
“I wish I could swap with all of you,” she wrote on Paiden’s Facebook, “my life doesn’t feel the same.”