The identities of the adults who were involved in a murder/suicide shooting on Saturday afternoon have been revealed by authorities. Five people were killed and two others suffered injuries in the incident, which occurred in the peaceful neighborhood of Amber Forest in suburban Atlanta, Georgia. Four of the victims were children.
The shooter has been identified by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office as 33-year-old Cedric G. Prather, whose hometown was not given. Prather killed himself after the shooting, during which he shot to death his ex-wife, Latoya A. Andrews, 33, and Joseph Terry Brown, also 33. Reuters reports that Brown was the boyfriend of Andrews, but did not live at the home. Two children were also killed. The murder/suicide occurred in Douglasville, Georgia, which is located west of Atlanta by approximately 20 miles.
The victims were discovered by neighbors, who called 911 and then attempted to help the wounded while they waited for first responders to arrive. All seven were discovered shot in the head and were scattered throughout the interior and exterior of the home.
According to Sheriff’s Lt. Glenn Daniel, the two children killed were 7- and 9-years-old. The younger child was killed at the scene, while the older child died after being taken to the hospital. Two others minors who were shot, ages 15 and 8, remain in the hospital on life support. Officials say the four children were from two different families. Their conditions are listed on Sunday as critical but stable. According to the Georgia-based Atlanta Journal-Constitution, one of the hospitalized children is Brown’s daughter. Prather himself died at the hospital of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Officials say that Prather parked his car away from the house, walked the rest of the way and began to shoot. The coroner for Douglas County, Georgia, said that Prather pursued his daughter into the road before shooting her, where she later died. Authorities later towed his vehicle as evidence.
Authorities plan to review more details on Monday during a 10:00 a.m. news conference to be held in Douglasville, Georgia, including a possible motive for the crime. Daniel did reveal that officers had been called to the home two times in 2013 for reports of domestic disturbances. No information was made available regarding what type of gun was used in the shooting.
In an interview with Reuters, neighbor Teresa Carter said that she had been in her living room when she heard gunfire. She then “heard the little girl screaming, and then four more shots.” She described it as the “worst thing” she had ever heard. Upon running outside to help the girl, she saw that she had suffered a gunshot wound to her mouth.
Carter described her neighbors across the street as a happy family whose children played ball in front of their house and approached her in order to pet her dog. A small memorial of dolls and teddy bears has sprung up in front of the home in which the shootings occurred.
Brown’s barber, Kareem Balson, had cut Brown’s hair on Saturday morning. Brown had brought the son of his friend along for a haircut, too. The older men had joked about the young boy’s restlessness while in the chair, not knowing that just a few hours from then, in a quiet Georgia neighborhood, Brown and the boy would be killed.
By Jennifer Pfalz
Photo by Adam Gerard – Flickr License