'There's blood everywhere': Family of 7 dead in suspected Chatham County murder-suicide

Monday, March 16, 2020
Family of 7 dead in suspected Chatham County murder-suicide
Family of 7 dead in suspected Chatham County murder-suicide

MONCURE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Deputies said seven people, all from the same family, are dead after a suspected murder-suicide in Chatham County on Sunday night.

According to a news release, Chatham County deputies first received a call from a home on Moncure Flatwood Road shortly after 5:30 p.m.

In the 911 call, the son of one of the victims told police to get there quickly.

"There's a guy at my house shooting right now," he said.

He told the dispatcher that he was hiding in the closet.

"It doesn't sound like anyone's in my house anymore. I don't know what's going on," he said.

He then left the closet and told the dispatcher there was blood everywhere.

"My dad is dead," he said.

Officials say evidence suggests 66-year-old Larry Ray was the gunman.

Investigators identified the victims as 67-year-old Jeanie Ray, 93-year-old Helen Mason, 73-year-old Ellis Mansfield, 54-year-old Lisa Mansfield, 41-year-old John Paul Sanderford and 39-year-old Nicole Sanderford.

A relative said the shootings began at Larry Ray's home.

He shot and killed his wife, Jeanie, before going across the street to her 93-year-old grandmother's home where he shot and killed Mason and her cousins Ellis and Lisa Mansfield.

Then, family members say he went to another home and shot and killed John and Nicole Sanderford. Nicole is Ray's wife's niece. The son of John and Nicole is the one who called 911.

"Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims of this terrible tragedy," Sheriff Mike Roberson said in a written statement. "To lose any family member is devastating, but to lose several at once to unexpected violence is unimaginable. There are no words to describe the sense of loss we feel as a community in the wake of this terrible event."

Roberson encouraged survivors affected by the tragedy to seek emotional support through the NC Victim Assistance Network, Triangle Survivors of Suicide or the Sheriff's Office Victim Services Unit.

The motive of the shooting is unknown at this time.

Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank nationwide to "Flatwood Boys Stay Strong," a care fund to help provide for the two surviving teenage sons who lost their parents in the shooting.