Police release 911 calls in family shooting

FAYETTEVILLE Local businessman William Maxwell, Jr. shot his wife Kathryn and the couple's children - 17-year-old daughter Conner and 15-year-old son Cameron - before turning his pistol on himself.

Two calls came in to emergency services. The first was apparently from Conner Maxwell made before her father shot her. She doesn't say anything in the call, but you can hear gunshots in the background.

A second call came about an hour later from Kathryn Maxwell's father after he and his wife went to the home and saw the bodies through a window.

"We've got what appears to be a murder-suicide," he tells the 911 operator.

ABC 11 has reviewed the calls and chosen not to broadcast them or post them online.

Community reacts

Thousands are joining a Facebook group honoring the Maxwell family in the wake of the tragedy.

Maxwell was active in his church and coached a basketball team at Village Christian Academy. His wife and children were also well-known and liked. Word of the killings has stunned people who knew the family.

"These were genuinely nice people," wrote Evelyn Diaz on Facebook. "I knew them briefly b/c they were my neighbors & our pets were "buddies" :) I'll never forget Mrs. Maxwells sunny & lively personality. I pray to God that relatives and friends of the Maxwells can draw some comfort from their good memories of this peace and God loving family. Rest in Peace and God Bless."

Click here to go to the Maxwell family memorial page on Facebook to read more comments

"My heart goes out to the Maxwell Family & friends," wrote Angel Wingfield Shaffer. "I did not know the family but I know people who did know them. This is such an awful tragedy. I wanted to cry when I heard about it. I wish things didn't happen the way they did & wish that Mr. Maxwell talked to someone before this happened. May God Bless the Maxwell Family, their friends, & their neighbors."

The funeral for the Maxwell family is set for Friday.

Investigation continues

Fayetteville police have not shared many details about what happened or speculated on Maxwell's mental state.

Detectives said when they arrived at the home on West Park Drive - which is in the Haymont area near downtown Fayetteville - around 8:30 p.m. Monday, they saw Kathryn Maxwell dead inside the residence. Upon entering, they discovered Maxwell and his son. Daughter Conner Maxwell was found in another part of the house.

Friends of the family and sources close to the investigation told ABC 11 that William Maxwell had financial problems and displayed possible mental issues in the days before the killings.

However, Billy Maxwell Sr. told The Fayetteville Observer Thursday that his son didn't have any financial problems.

Family friends said emotional problems may have been to blame.

The sources said he confiscated his children's cell phones last week claiming someone was tracking them. On Sunday, he shot out a window of the family home while screaming someone was trying to get them.

The family was able to calm him down and convinced him to get psychiatric help. He said he would.

George Rose said Billy Maxwell Jr. was his best friend. He said he and other friends went to the Maxwell home just hours before the murder-suicide.

"We talked with them, because I knew Billy was having some emotional problems," Rose said. "I don't want to get into the details, but when we left I thought we had calmed things down and everything was going to be okay."

About four hour later, investigators said Maxwell shot his wife and two teenage children before killing himself.

Those details came as news to many who knew the family and added to the shock and grief.

"The Maxwell's are NOT just another news story," wrote Amanda Bullard on Facebook. "They were an amazing Christian family and they were all amazing as individuals too."

"Kathy and Billy were the best parents, just a perfect family," wrote Theresa Holt. "They also had such passion for other kids. My heart has such a pain, for all my pain. I'm very sorry for your families, and my prays are with you."

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