MITCH WEISS AP Facing problems with the law and in his personal life, 27-year-old Bryan Sweatt called a police dispatcher to vent. When she asked him what was wrong, he replied he was "stressed out" and about to kill himself. With a woman's voice crying in the background, the dispatcher asked if he had a gun. His reply: "a 44." Then the phone line went dead. The chilling call was the first clue that something had gone terribly wrong inside a one-story rural home in this tight-knit community of 23,000 people where six people, including Sweatt, were found shot to death. Police say Sweatt broke into his girlfriend's parents' house Tuesday and waited for them and the girlfriend to come home. When they did, Sweatt fatally shot her, her parents and two children living there and himself, said Greenwood County Sheriff Tony Davis said. "Once you see a horrific scene like this it never leaves you. It's with you day in and day out," he said. The victims were identified as Richard Fields, 51; his wife, Melissa Fields, 49; their daughter Chandra Fields, 26; and two of the couple's grandchildren who lived with them: William Robinson, 9; and Tariq Robinson, 11. Sweatt was in the middle of a custody fight with Chandra Fields over their 7-month-old daughter, who was not among those killed. He also was facing a burglary charge that could have put him behind bars for years. Richard Fields had warned him to stay away from his house and the dirt track Sweatt had built in the backyard for his all-terrain vehicles. Davis didn't specify a motive for the shootings, but said it appears they stemmed from a "domestic violence situation." He said Sweatt felt that Chandra Fields wasn't allowing him to see their infant child often enough. It's unclear how many — if any — victims had been shot before he made the call at 5:54 p.m. Tuesday from the home. A police report said a dispatcher heard a woman in the background say: "Do not point that at me" before the call was disconnected. Sweatt allowed four children to escape — his 7-month-old daughter, the infant's cousin and two neighborhood children who came to the door after school to play with the Fields' grandchildren. No one knows why Sweatt let them live and shot the others, Davis said. "I cannot tell you at this point that I have all the answers for you," he said. While they're still searching for clues, one thing is clear: Sweatt was facing serious problems. Sweatt had a lengthy arrest record that dates back nearly a decade, according to state police records. Most of his charges were related to property crimes, such as burglary or forgery, although he was arrested once on aggravated assault charges. He was supposed to be in court Tuesday on a burglary charge, Davis said. The sheriff didn't have many details about the hearing, but said Sweatt faced up to 30 years if he was convicted. to read more click here: AP
Sign up for our free e-mail list to see future vaticancatholic.com videos and articles.