A 15-year-old Texas teenager shot dead his whole family, posted pictures of the bodies online and then killed himself after the police found him, officials said on Thursday.
The teen was identified as William Quince Colburn III, police officials in Aransas Pass and the San Patricio County sheriff’s office said. After killing his sister and parents, the teen posted graphic pictures of their dead bodies on social media and threatened to continue the violence at a school.
The police tracked the teen to a recreational vehicle park in Aransas County of South Texas on Wednesday night after they were alerted to the images on social media. They asked him to come outside of his motor home but he refused. They then heard a gunshot, the police said.
“Entry was made into the RV and immediately discovered the graphic scene shared over social media,” the Aransas Pass Police Department said in a statement. “The male juvenile was likewise found deceased from a gunshot wound. In total, investigators found 4 deceased bodies and 2 deceased dogs.”
Oscar Rivera, the San Patricio County sheriff, said the three people were also shot to death. The deceased were identified as the teen’s father William Colburn Jr, mother Jana Colburn and sister Emma Colburn, 13.
The police said they “might well have been working on an even more tragic event later this morning” if they had not been alerted by social media users to the teen’s threat.
Mahria Batts, who identified herself as the teen’s sister and the eldest of 11 Colburn children, is raising funds for the funeral of her dead family members.
“We are deeply saddened by the events that have unfolded today. Like many in the community, we are hurt, outraged, sad, and most of all, [there is] a sense of emptiness,” she told The Independent. “We should be celebrating our Mother’s 53rd Birthday today. Instead, we are having to run around and try to figure out how we are going to lay them all to rest.”
Ms Batts added: “While we appreciate and understand so many emotions being shared with us, on behalf of all of my siblings, I ask that you take into consideration that even with the way this all played out, we are still mourning 4 individuals. We ask that you find it in your hearts to please donate, share and to also understand that we are grieving.”
She said her brother got a call from a judge in Aransas Pass who told them about the triple murder and suicide.
If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, The Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch. If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.