Wyoming man held over killing of four family members

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 08, 2011 5:58 PM
Wyoming man held over killing of four family members

DENVER (Reuters) - A Wyoming man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after his three children and brother were shot dead in their small farming community in an attack that also wounded his wife, authorities said on Friday.

Everett Conant III, who is in his mid-30s, was being held without bond on suspicion of first-degree murder for the shooting spree in the Wyoming town of Wheatland, police said.

Wheatland Police Chief Randy Chesser said at a Friday news conference that the four dead were Conant's three children and brother, but would not release their names until other family members were notified.

Chesser said in a news release that police received an emergency phone call late on Thursday afternoon over reports of a woman "screaming and yelling" and shots fired.

When police arrived on scene, they heard a single gunshot inside the residence and then forced their way into the house, where they heard a male voice speaking.

Officers spoke to the man for 10 minutes before he surrendered, police said. Police then discovered three dead children and found Conant's adult brother wounded but still alive. He later died at a local hospital.

Conant's wife was in stable condition with gunshot wounds to her shoulder and leg, Chesser said, adding that the motive for the shooting was unclear.

A spokeswoman with the Platte County prosecutor's office said Conant has not been formally charged. Wheatland has about 3,500 residents and is about 70 miles north of Cheyenne.

(Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Cynthia Johnston)