Eight people are dead, including a sheriff’s deputy, after shootings on Saturday night in three homes in rural Mississippi, the Associated Press reported.
A suspect was in custody, but no charges had been filed yet, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain told the AP on Sunday. He added that it was “premature” to discuss a motive.
Investigators told the AP that police responded to a call about a domestic dispute and that the shootings occurred at two homes in Brookhaven, Miss., a small city about 55 miles south of Jackson, and one home in Bogue Chitto, an unincorporated place to the south of Brookhaven.
The fallen deputy was identified as William Durr, 36, who had been with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office for two years, according to the Daily Leader.
As of Sunday afternoon, the names of the other victims were not yet released, though Strain told the AP that two boys had been among those killed.
The Clarion-Ledger identified the suspect as Willie Cory Godbolt, who was arrested early Sunday in Lincoln County, in the southwestern part of the state.
Clarion-Ledger reporter Therese Apel, who was at the scene of the arrest, took video of Godbolt slumped and handcuffed on a road as officers stood by.
In the video, Godbolt is heard talking about what sounded like a custody battle, describing a scene in which he was talking to family members about “taking my children” when someone called the police.
“My intentions was to have God kill me. I ran out of bullets,” Godbolt told Apel in the video. “Suicide by cop was my intention. I ain’t fit to live. Not after what I done.”
Godbolt was taken to a hospital in Jackson for a gunshot wound, the Clarion-Ledger reported.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant issued a statement on the “tragedy in Lincoln County” on Sunday.
“Every day, the men and women who wear the badge make some measure of sacrifice to protect and serve their communities,” Bryant wrote. “Too often, we lose one of our finest. I thank the law enforcement agencies involved for their hard work. May the peace of the Almighty wash over those hurting after this senseless tragedy.”