An Alabama boy has allegedly confessed to shooting and killing five family members, including his infant brother and two other younger siblings, in their home earlier this week, officials said.
The unidentified 14-year-old boy called 911 about 11 p.m. Monday and asked that police come to his home in Elkmont, about 25 miles northwest of Huntsville, the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office said.
Authorities said teen met deputies in the driveway and told them he had been in the basement when he heard shots upstairs.
“He stated that he ran upstairs and heard footsteps, then went out the door,” the sheriff’s office said.
In the home, deputies found the bodies of five people on the main floor. Three people were already dead, and two others were airlifted to local hospitals in critical condition, but they were unable to be saved, authorities said.
Investigators said they noticed “discrepancies” in the teen’s statements, and when confronted on the alleged inconsistencies in his statement, “he eventually confessed.”
Two of the victims have been identified as the suspect’s father, 38-year-old John Sisk, and his stepmother, 35-year-old Mary Sisk.
The three other victims have been identified as the suspect’s 6-year-old half-brother, 5-year-old half-sister and 6-month-old half-brother. Their names have not been released.
Police have not released a potential motive in the killings, but a cousin of the teen charged said the alleged shooting rampage occurred days after he had learned his stepmother was not his biological mom, according to a report.
The 14-year-old boy learned the truth about his parentage last week, his cousin Daisy McCarty told WAFF-TV. The revelation came after several months that saw the boy acting out, including by burning living animals and breaking into his school, McCarty claimed.
"He didn't know any different of who his mom was," she said. "And they just recently told him, and I think that's really what triggered the little boy, to be honest with you."
Police said that after he allegedly confessed, the teen led investigators to a gun tossed on the side of the road near the home. “The gun, a 9mm pistol, had been in the home illegally,” the sheriff’s office said.
The suspect's father was free on $15,000 bond after being arrested earlier this year on a felony charge of allegedly having a gun during a burglary, court records obtained by The Associated Press said.
The killings have reportedly rocked the small Alabama community of Elkmont, which the 2010 census showed had a population of 434.
“We in the Elkmont community mourn the loss of five of our residents, three of which were the most innocent among us, under the most brutal circumstance,” Elkmont Mayor Tracy Compton said. “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,” she continued. “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.”
The 14-year-old boy faces five juvenile counts of murder, but could potentially face adult charges, including capital murder.
“Unfortunately we are facing a tragedy on a scale we aren’t used to in Limestone County, Alabama,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “It’s important that you understand this is a community that has a lot of healing to do, and we are unified here to assist in that process. This will have a ripple effect among the family, community and county. It affects us all.”