The five family members killed by a 14-year-old in Alabama included a 6-month-old baby, authorities said in an update.
The teen called the police late Sept. 2 and confessed to shooting all five members of his family, the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office said.
The sheriff’s office said in an update that victims included three stepsiblings of the boy: a 6-month-old baby boy, a 5-year-old girl, and a 6-year-old boy.
Officials identified the boy’s parents as Mary Sisk, the boy’s 35-year-old stepmother, and John Sisk, the boy’s 38-year-old father.
The 14-year-old initially said he was in the basement when he heard gunshots upstairs, rushed up the stairs, and ran outside, but he “eventually confessed” when confronted over discrepancies in his statement by Sheriff Blakely and an investigator, the sheriff’s office said. The teen showed them where he’d thrown the gun he used and it was recovered.
The boy is being held in a juvenile detention facility and is facing five juvenile counts of murder. The counts could be upgraded to adult charges of murder or capital murder at a later time. Murder is punishable by death in many cases in Alabama.
Elkmont Mayor Tracy Compton said in a statement that the community was mourning the loss of the five who were killed “under the most brutal circumstance.”
“There are not enough words to convey the sense of loss this family is feeling at this time and there is little the rest of us can do to bring them comfort. We pray as a community for healing in this unprecedented situation and know that together we will persevere and eventually overcome. There are many questions to be answered in the coming days but today, we unite as Elkmontians in prayer for the family, the community as a whole and also for the accused,” she said.
Stephen Young, spokesman for the sheriff’s office, told reporters at a press conference: “It is important that you understand that this is a community that has a lot of dealing to do right now. This is going to have a ripple effect among family, among friends, among the local community there. This affects all of us.”
Limestone County Board of Education spokeswoman Dr. Karen Tucker said at the press conference that “Limestone County Schools is deeply saddened of the tragedy that happened in our Elkmont community. We’re concentrating our efforts at assisting our students, our faculty, as well as the community, in dealing with this tragedy.”
According to Mary Sisk’s faculty profile, she was a special education teacher at Mountain Gap Schools in Huntsville.
She wrote on her profile: “I have been in education for over 10 years working with students in all walks of life. I am happily married with a great husband and four beautiful children. I am originally from New Orleans and really miss the food! I am currently working on furthering my education with the support of my amazing family!”
The North Alabama Educators Union said it created a fund to help with the funeral expenses and other costs associated with the tragedy.
Elkmont High School, where the teen went, asked people to pray for the school and community.
School officials said that extra counselors were at the school.
Neighbors said the shooting surprised them.
“Of course we were shocked,” Karen Erwin, a neighbor, told WHNT. “We was pretty upset because we didn’t know if somebody had come in and shot them or if somebody in the house had done it so we were kind of scared.”