A North Carolina man killed six of his family members over the weekend before turning the gun on himself, authorities said Monday.
The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office said Larry Don Ray, 66, fatally shot six relatives at multiple homes on the same property Sunday afternoon in Moncure.
The six family members who died have been identified as Jeanie Ray, 67; Helen Mason, 93; Ellis Mansfield, 73; Lisa Mansfield, 54; John Paul Sanderford, 41; and Nicole Sanderford, 39. Two teenage sons who lost their parents in the shooting survived the slaying, the sheriff’s office said.
Authorities do not believe the event was random, but are still working to determine a motive behind the grisly incident that occurred in the unincorporated community about 30 minutes outside of Raleigh with a population of just over 700.
“Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims of this terrible tragedy,” Chatham County Sheriff Mike Roberson said in a statement obtained by The Daily Beast. “To lose any family member is devastating, but to lose several at once to unexpected violence is unimaginable. There are no words to describe the sense of loss we feel as a community in the wake of this terrible event.”
Authorities said deputies responded to a call of “shots fired” shortly after 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. The seven people were found shot in multiple homes around the property. Roberson described the community as “quiet” and “close-knit, where violence is out of the norm.”
“In Chatham County, when one of us hurts, we all hurt, and we pull together,” he said. “We can’t undo what has happened, but we can surround this family and each other with love and support as we decide where to go from here.”
According to The News & Observer, several family members gathered Monday morning across the street from the scene.
“Right now, they’re still in shock, and they don’t want to talk to anybody,” Mark Childress told the local paper, adding that he was there to support his brother and his brother’s family. Childress told the outlet that his brother’s son-in-law, mother-in-law, and daughter were among the victims in Sunday’s slaying.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is also assisting with the criminal probe.
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