Published October 30, 2013
Authorities say the six people shot dead in a South Carolina home after a man called police and said he was thinking about hurting himself were involved in a domestic dispute.
Greenwood County Sheriff Tony Davis identified the man who fired the shots – and ended the shooting spree with his own suicide -- as 27-year-old Bryan Sweatt. Davis says Sweatt had dated one of the women who was killed and had a child with her.
Davis says the victims found inside the Greenwood home on Tuesday included the woman, her parents and two children. He identified them at a press conference Wednesday as Richard Allen Fields, 51, Melissa Maroney Fields, 49, Chandra Marie Fields, 26, Tariq Kenyon Robinson, 11, and William Asa Robinson, 9, FoxCarolina.com reports.
The sheriff says the shootings looked like executions and that Sweatt used a "large caliber handgun."
Davis says Sweatt and the woman were in a custody dispute about their infant child. Davis believes Sweatt broke into the home and was waiting for the victims to come back.
"I've been in law enforcement in Greenwood since 1975, and to my knowledge, this is the first that I responded to with this many deceased," Davis told FoxCarolina.com.
Officers first went to the home in Greenwood County after receiving a call from a man who said he was thinking about hurting himself, Greenwood County Sheriff's Office spokesman John Long said. He said while police were on their way, one of the man's neighbors called 911 saying two children from that address had arrived at her house and told her a shot had been fired. He said the children remained at her house.
After about an hour and "several unsuccessful attempts" by officers to make contact with anyone in the home, the SWAT team entered and discovered the bodies, Long said.
Davis said Sweatt was scheduled to be in court on the day of the shooting but failed to appear, according to FoxCarolina.com. Sweatt was arrested for burglary in 2013.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.