A 4-year-old girl managed to escape an apparent murder-suicide carried out by her grandfather, who killed his wife and her 6-year-old grandson before taking his own life, police said.
Terry Majors, 64, is believed to have fatally shot his wife, 61-year-old Leigh Shea, and her grandson, 6-year-old Ty Dodson, in his and Shea’s home on Dockside Drive in Nashville, Tennessee, Saturday night, Metro Nashville police told the Nashville Tennessean.
He then shot himself. A .357-caliber revolver was recovered at the scene.
Ty’s 4-year-old sister fled from the home uninjured and ran to a neighbor’s house for help, the Tennessean reported.
A motive in the killings was not immediately clear, and Majors had no significant criminal history in Davidson County.
“He’s always been as good as he could be,” the children’s aunt, Shannon Smalling, said of Majors. “We never dreamed this could happen. It’s just pure evil.”
In addition to his little sister, Ty is survived by his mother, Jennifer Smalling, her partner, Danny Smalling, and three older sisters. He was predeceased by his father, his obituary said.
Ty was in kindergarten at the Allen County Primary Center in Scottsville, Kentucky. He had begun school about a month ago.
“Our heartfelt sympathy, thoughts and prayers go out to the Carter/Smalling family. We thank them for allowing us to share in Ty's life," Schools Superintendent Travis Hamby told the Tennessean. "Fortunately, our school family is pulling together and supporting one another at this time."
His funeral is set for Thursday afternoon at Goad Funeral home.
Shea had two children, including Ty’s mother, and six grandchildren, including Ty, her obituary said.
She “was a retired employee of Quest Diagnostics and a Catholic,” her obituary said.
Visitation for Shea took place on Wednesday. She was to be cremated and will have no funeral service.
Ty’s uncle, Chase Dodson, said his nephew often visited his grandmother and her husband in Nashville.
The trips were a high point for the little boy, whose family was loving but had has seen its fair share of tragedy.
“My oldest brother died in 2002, my other brother, Chad Dodson (Ty’s biological father), passed away just 15 days before Ty was born,” Dodson, 24, told the Tennessean. “I was in the medical room holding (Ty’s mother) Jennifer’s hand when she had Ty. I cut his umbilical cord.
“He never met his dad, but his stepdad, Danny, was a good father to him,” Dodson continued. “Ty was loved by so many.”