A Mississippi man allegedly shot and killed his wife and two other people during her birthday party last week, according to reports.
Michael Martin Barnhill, 30, is facing three counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder after shooting Marlee Barnhill, Brooks Harrell, and Jim Harrell at their home at around midnight on March 1, officials said. Barnhill is being held without bond at the Carroll Montgomery Regional Correctional Facility.
They were at the Harrell’s home to celebrate Marlee’s upcoming birthday, reported the Clarion-Ledger reported.
Carroll County Sheriff Clint Walker, in a statement to local news website The Taypayers Channel, said Michael got drunk and belligerent during the celebration.
Barnhill attempted to drive drunk, and Marlee, who had his keys, stopped him, Walker said.
The suspect then allegedly went into the trunk and got a .40 caliber pistol before shooting his wife in the chest.
Barnhill then shot Jim Harrell and opened fire on Brooks Harrell as she tried to help her husband and Marlee.
“The others discouraged his drunkenness, and he became angry and combative. His wife was in possession of the keys to their vehicle to prevent him [from] driving away in his drunken state. Marlee was trying to do the right thing to protect his life and the lives of other drivers,” Walker said in the statement.
She was expecting a fun night of karaoke. Authorities said it ended in carnage.
After the initial shooing, the “Harrells were trying to do the right thing by coming to Marlee’s aid,” the sheriff explained.
Two other partygoers, Mauri Suggs and Amber Garrard, went upstairs to protect the Harrells’ 10-year-old son, who was sleeping, Walker said.
“They locked and barricaded themselves and the child in a closet,” he said, adding that “they were doing the right thing by protecting a defenseless child.”
Walker said Barnhill wasn’t there when police arrived on the scene, and he returned and was “acting as though he did not know what had happened.”
The surviving witnesses said Barnhill killed their friends, the sheriff added.
THREE DEAD, MAN ARRESTED: A man from #Winona is in jail after three people were shot and killed at a home Friday night in Carroll County. https://goo.gl/LUBuv1 #WTVA9News
When Barnhill tried to escape, deputies used a taser to subdue him, he said.
“We may never know why Barnhill perpetrated this horrible crime. None of the victims or survivors were doing anything other than having a small get-together to celebrate Marlee’s birthday. According to our preliminary investigation, there were no drugs involved, and very little drinking other than that done by Michael Barnhill to excess,” Walker told the Clarion-Ledger.
The victims, he said, should be remembered by the “heroic acts.”
“Each victim of this crime acted out of care and concern for the welfare of others. Marlee tried to keep Michael Barnhill and those he might come into contact with safe by preventing him driving drunk. Jim Harrell acted in defense of Marlee. Brooks Harrell tried to render aid to her husband. Mauri Suggs and Amber Garrard acted to protect a defenseless child, and to warn the deputies of the danger they were facing. Our deputies remembered and acted upon their training to protect those remaining and subdue the suspect,” Walker said.
Happy March 1!!!! New month, New Goals, and my BIRTHDAY MONTH! Shares are appreciated ❤️🤪
Posted by Get Glamorous with Marlee on Friday, 1 March 2019
Marlee is said to have operated the “Get Glamourous with Marlee” Facebook page where she sold makeup. She posted a live stream where she expressed excitement about her birthday.
“I hope you all have a great Friday night,” she says in the video. “I hope you all have a great night, whatever you’re doing, we’re gonna be safe. And I’ll talk to you later.”