A 14-year-old has been charged with five counts of murder after confessing to shooting his family members in their Elkmont, Alabama, home, police said Tuesday.
The victims are: John Sisk, 38, the boy’s father; his stepmother, Mary Sisk, 35; his 6-year-old stepbrother; his 5-year-old stepsister; and his 6-month-old stepbrother, Limestone County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Stephen Young told reporters. Earlier, authorities said the child victims were siblings.
Investigators have yet to establish a motive, Young told CNN earlier.
Though the suspect faces five juvenile counts of murder, Young said the teen, “pending the adjudication process, could face adult charges of multiple counts of murder and/or capital murder.”
Investigators found the handgun allegedly used in the killings on “the side of the road nearby where it had been tossed,” the sheriff’s office said in a tweet. Earlier, the office said the teen was assisting police in locating a 9 mm handgun that he had discarded near the scene.
The handgun was in the home “illegally,” Young said without elaborating.
The shooting happened about 10:30 p.m. (11:30 p.m. ET) Monday, according to CNN affiliate WAFF. The accused teen called 911 around that time to report that he was in the basement when he heard gunfire upstairs, WAFF and fellow affiliate WHNT reported.
He repeated the claim to deputies who arrived in the family’s driveway around 11 p.m., Young said.
“He said that he ran out the door, and there was very little other information given,” Young said, adding that the teen was later taken in for questioning and “upon being confronted with some of the inconsistencies (in his story), he did admit to shooting the five family members.”
The sheriff’s office first reported early Tuesday that three of the five victims were confirmed dead at the scene and two were airlifted in critical condition. The office later confirmed the airlifted victims had died as well. Autopsies will be conducted Wednesday at the earliest, the coroner said
The boy is being held in a juvenile facility, Young said.
A Limestone County School District spokeswoman confirmed the teen attended Elkmont High School but referred additional questions to law enforcement.
“Limestone County Schools is deeply saddened by the tragic event,” Karen Tucker said in an email. “We are concentrating our efforts in assisting our students, faculty and community in dealing with this tragedy. Additional school counselors and Limestone County Health Department Counselors are on site. These individuals will be available for as long as there is a need.”
In a tribute on its Facebook page, the Paul Mitchell School in Huntsville, which offers classes in cosmetology, said John Sisk was an alumnus.
The shootings unfolded in a modest, one-story home on a large lot set back from a residential street. Elkmont, a town of fewer than 500 residents just south of the Tennessee border, is about a 45-minute drive northwest of Huntsville.
The town of Elkmont on Tuesday evening mourned the deaths. “We pray as a community for healing in this unprecedented situation and know that together we will persevere and eventually overcome,” said Mayor Tracy Compton.