A 14-year-old Alabama boy who called police to report all five members of his family had been shot confessed to the crime a short time later, officials said Tuesday.
The Limestone County Sheriff's Office tweeted at about midnight that five people had been shot at a home in Elkmont, on the northern border of the state. Officials said an adult and two children were confirmed dead at the scene, and an adult and a child had been airlifted to area hospitals in critical condition.
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At about 3 a.m., a tweet from the sheriff's department said the two victims in critical condition had died, and the 14-year-old called to report the violence had confessed to shooting his entire family in their home. He originally told deputies that he was downstairs when he heard the shooting upstairs, Lt. Stephen Young told NBC affiliate WAFF.
The victims were the 14-year-old's father, stepmother and siblings, according to the sheriff's department. Neither the victims nor the suspect have been identified.
"This is really unusual, you even say shocking for here in Limestone County. You hear about these things sometimes elsewhere. Unfortunately this community has some healing to do. Our heart goes out to the family and friends," Young said.
A Facebook post from Elkmont High School said extra counselors would be at the school Tuesday but didn't specify whether any of the victims or the 14-year-old attended the school. "Please be in prayer for our school and community," the post said.
The 14-year-old helped investigators find the weapon, which he said was a 9 mm handgun he "tossed nearby," on the side of the road later Tuesday morning, according to the Limestone County Sheriff's Office.