Shooting in Atlanta suburb kills five, including 2 children

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 08, 2015 12:14 PM

By Rich McKay

Douglasville, Ga. (Reuters) - A father went on a shooting rampage this weekend, killing his ex-wife, her boyfriend, and two children before taking his own life in a suburban Atlanta neighborhood, authorities said.

The massacre at the former wife's home near Douglasville, about 20 miles (32 km) west of Atlanta, left two other children on life support, authorities said on Sunday.

The shooter chased his daughter into the street and shot her in Saturday's incident, said Randy Daniel, coroner for Douglas County, Georgia. She died at the scene.

"It was his own little girl," Daniel said in a telephone interview. "It's terrible."

He also fired at his ex-wife and her boyfriend, as well as the other children, Daniel said, adding that all were shot in the head.

The four children's ages ranged from seven to 15 years, authorities said.

The shooter was found dead with the other victims inside the house, Daniel said, in a quiet neighborhood of two-car garages and well-kept lawns near Douglasville.

Teresa Carter, who lives right across the street in the quiet Amber Forest neighborhood, was home at the time.

"I was sitting in my living room and heard the pow," she said. "Then I heard the little girl screaming, and then four more shots. It was the worse thing I ever heard in my life."

She ran outside and saw the girl had been shot in the mouth.

Carter said her neighbors had seemed to be a perfect family, playing ball in the street, with the children coming up to her to pet her dog.

A small pile of carefully placed teddy bears and dolls sat in front of the home where the shooting occurred.

"We're still piecing it all together," said Lieutenant Glenn Daniel, a spokesman for the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

The children who died were seven-years-old and nine-years-old, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

Two surviving children, ages eight and 15, are in critical but stable condition at an Atlanta area hospital, police said. Douglas County Coroner Randy Daniel told Reuters they were on life support.

The four children involved in the shooting came from two families, authorities said.

The shooter was identified as Cedric Prather, 33, according to the police statement. His adult victims were Latoya Andrews and Joseph Terry Brown, both also 33.

(Writing and additional reporting by Letitia Stein in Tampa, Fla.; Editing by Paul Simao and Alan Crosby)