AXTON, Va. – A Virginia man fatally shot his wife and adult son and wounded another son before killing himself, authorities said Sunday. Their bodies were discovered in the basement of their burning home.
The Henry County Sheriff's Office said William Ronald Carter shot his wife, Bonnie, 56, and their 29-year-old son William Ronald Carter Jr. Sheriff Lane Perry said he wounded another son who was able to escape and then killed himself before authorities arrived at the burning home. The three bodies were discovered shortly after midnight at the home in Axton, in southwestern Virginia.
The sheriff's office said in a news release that 22-year-old Timothy Carter told investigators that his father, who was 56, lured him into the basement and shot him as he was walking down the steps. He was shot a second time as he tried to escape and was in fair condition at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., according to a hospital spokeswoman.
Timothy Carter called police and when deputies arrived, the house was on fire and it is being investigated as arson, the sheriff's office said.
Deputies recovered a rifle from the scene.
Neighbor Deborah Akers told FOX8 News that Timothy Carter came beating on her door saying, "somebody's after me, my dad's after me to shoot me."
She said she let him in and called 911.
"When he got inside, he said his dad had killed his mother and oldest brother and that he had trapped him," said Akers.
"I've known them my whole life, even when I was in school," she said of the family "They've always been such nice, Christian people. Good people."
Police did not release a motive.