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Crime News Murders

North Carolina Man Fatally Shoots Wife And Kids Before Turning Gun On Himself, Police Say

The High Point Police Department determined that Robert J. Crayton, Jr. shot and killed his wife Athalia A. Crayton, as well as Kasin Crayton, 18, and a 16-year-old and 10-year-old, whose names were not released.

By Gina Salamone
Husbands Who Killed Their Wives

A North Carolina man fatally shot his wife and three children over the weekend before then turning the gun on himself.

The murder-suicide occurred Saturday morning at a home on Mossy Meadow Drive in the city of High Point, leaving three adults and two juveniles dead. 

After an investigation, it was determined that Robert J. Crayton, Jr., 45, shot and killed his wife Athalia A. Crayton, 46, as well as Kasin Crayton, 18, and a 16-year-old and 10-year-old, whose names were not released, according to a Monday media release from the High Point Police Department

Robert Crayton then died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police say. 

All five of the victims lived inside the home, according to High Point Police, who added that two other people, aged 22 and 25, who were inside the home at the time managed to escape. One of individuals who was able to escape was a relative of the victims, while the other was an acquaintance, police told Oxygen.com on Monday.

RELATED: Utah Murder-Suicide Leaves 3 Adults, 5 Children Dead Weeks After Wife Files For Divorce

Police had previously said in a release on Saturday that officers responded to Mossy Meadow Drive at 7:05 a.m. that day after receiving a report of two people screaming for help. 

"When officers arrived they came into contact with an adult male and female stating they needed help," police stated Saturday. "Officers were able to determine that the address was ... Mossy Meadow Drive. Officers had to force entry into the home, and once inside, they located five deceased people."

All of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene, and authorities said at the time that there was no further threat to the community. 

High Point Police added Monday that officers have responded to this address five separate times since 2014. The most recent call before Saturday's came on Jan. 3, 2022, when cops served an involuntary mental commitment order.

The department confirmed to Oxygen.com on Monday that the involuntary mental commitment order involved Robert Crayton, Jr., but did not release info about where he was committed or when he was released.

The previous four calls were listed as a Jan. 2, 2022 medical call; a Dec. 2, 2019 domestic disturbance in which two people reported being in a disturbance; a Dec. 30, 2016 domestic disturbance incident classified as an argument between family members; and a Jan. 30, 2014 domestic disturbance incident involving an alleged assault with no evidence for arrest, High Point Police told Oxygen.com.

Police are still looking into a motive in the case. 

"I've expressed this to the family, we may never know why — what goes through the hearts and minds of a person who would do this sometimes dies with him," Lt. Patrick Welch said during a Monday press conference. "We don't have any indication right as to the 'why.' "

The horrific tragedy follows a murder-suicide last Wednesday in southwestern Utah that left eight people dead. In that case, Michael Haight, 42, was identified as the suspect in the case that left his wife and five kids dead, as well as his mother-in-law, before he allegedly turned the gun on himself. The incident reportedly unfolded two weeks after Haight's wife filed for divorce.

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