A US man shot his estranged wife, son and two-year-old grandson to death and critically wounded his pregnant daughter-in-law at their rural Louisiana home, then killed himself as police tried to pull over his car 20 minutes later, authorities said.
The shootings appeared to stem from an ongoing dispute between 50-year-old Dennis Carter Sr and his wife, Donna Carter, who had a restraining order against him, said Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office Chief of Operations Perry Rushing.
Another 16-month-old boy was in the house during the shootings but was not hurt. The child was related to the Carters but Mr Rushing was not sure how.
Authorities were called to the home in Holden, about 30 miles east of Baton Rouge, late on Saturday night.
Donna Carter, 49, and Dennis Carter Jr, 26, were dead inside. Dennis Carter Jr’s wife, Amber Carter, was badly hurt and their son, Mason Carter, 2, was found dead outside.
Mr Rushing said it appeared Amber and Mason Carter managed to escape out a second-floor window but it was not clear if Dennis Carter Sr shot them inside or followed them outside and shot them there.
All of the Carters lived at the house in Holden except Dennis Carter Sr, who used to live there but had more recently been living in nearby Hammond.
Amber Carter, who was about six months pregnant, was taken to Baton Rouge General Medical Centre with life-threatening injuries, though a supervisor there could not provide an update on her condition today.
Mr Rushing said deputies spotted Dennis Carter Sr about 20 minutes later driving on a highway. When they tried to pull him over, he shot and killed himself.
“It’s very unusual to have this many victims,” Mr Rushing said. “This is an anomaly by any stretch of the imagination.”
Mr Rushing said that state police ballistics experts were conducting tests on a gun found in Carter’s car to make sure that Carter was the gunman.
“All evidence seems to indicate that,” Mr Rushing said. “But we want to cross our Ts and dot our Is to make sure that’s right.”