Police are identifying the father who killed his wife and three children before turning the gun on himself in North Carolina after two other adults ran from the family home “screaming for help” – as relatives say theirs are “heart broken”.
- Robert J. Crayton, Jr., 45, has been identified as the shooter in the North Carolina homicide that occurred Saturday morning
- He killed his wife Athalia A. Crayton, 46, and their three children, Kasin Crayton, 18, and two unidentified youths, ages 10 and 16
- The minors were referred to as Nyla and Nasir by a family member on Facebook
- Authorities said the gruesome scene was unlike anything they had seen before
The family involved in the North Carolina murder-suicide have been identified as police confirm the husband killed his wife and three children before turning the gun on himself.
Robert J. Crayton, Jr., 45, shot Athalia A. Crayton, 46, Kasin Crayton, 18, and two unidentified youths, ages 10 and 16, according to police. The minors were referred to as Nyla and Nasir by a family member on Facebook.
Police found the bodies at their High Point home around 7am Saturday morning after receiving a report of two people, aged 22 and 25, running down the street screaming for help.
“The man said it was his father,” said a neighbor fox 8. “He woke up and there was a gun to his head. Somehow he pulled the magazine out of the gun and they escaped.” The other survivor was a visitor.
Athalia A. Crayton, 46, was killed by her husband before he pointed the gun at himself at their North Carolina home on Saturday morning
Nyla, 16, and Kasin Crayton, 18, were also shot dead by their father before he took his own life. Pictured: Nyla, left, and Kasin, right
It remains unclear why the shooter attacked his family, and authorities said they likely would never find out.
“We may never know why,” Lieutenant Patrick Welch said. “What goes on in the hearts and minds of a person who would do something like that sometimes dies with them.”
The gruesome scene was traumatizing for many High Point Police officers, who claimed they had never seen anything like it.
“I’ve been in law enforcement a little over 18 years now and I’ve never seen anything of this magnitude in the town of High Point,” Captain Matt Truitt said at a news conference Monday.
“We have to monitor our own officers now,” Chief Travis Stroud said, according to NBC. “This was a heavy-duty crime scene. We need to pay attention to our own officers and their own mental health and how they are coming through this incident.
Officials have responded to the family’s peak about five times since 2014 – with the most recent stop on Jan. 3, when police executed an “involuntary mental commitment order.”
The shooter was battling a mental disorder but didn’t provide details, according to Fox 8.
The gruesome scene was traumatizing for many High Point Police officers, who claimed they had never seen anything like it. Pictured: Nyla on her 16th birthday
It’s unclear why the shooter attacked his family, and authorities said they likely would never find out. Pictured: Kasin
The family lived at their home at 2734 Mossy Meadow Drive (pictured). Two people made it out of the house alive
Authorities are concerned about the mental wellbeing of officers dealing with the grisly crime scene
The family mourned on social media on a special Facebook page run by a relative.
“I love her very much,” Ptah Thompson wrote in a post. “I love them for who they are… the quality of their characters and the pure golden essence of their hearts. We are deeply saddened and heartbroken by what has happened to my dear family.’
Thompson designated his profile to share family photos, while others warned about fake GoFundMe accounts.
Guilford County Schools – which the children attended – issued a sad statement.
“It is with deep regret that we have to inform you of the recent loss of an 18-year-old and a 16-year-old student who attended Ragsdale High School, as well as a 10-year-old student who lost our school community who attended Union Hill Elementary School, states it in the statement.
“We are heartbroken and our thoughts are with the family.”