A 23-year-old nurse in her third trimester of pregnancy and her two-year-old son have been shot and killed by her husband in an apparent murder-suicide, police said, after she and her husband got into a verbal argument.
Police found Paiden Nicole Priest, her son, Grayson Alexander Beckham, and her husband, David Wayne Priest, with gunshot wounds when they arrived at their house in Van Buren, near Fort Smith, Arkansas, on Sunday.
David, an electrician, was the only one still alive, but he later succumbed to his wounds at a local hospital.
‘This is one of the worst cases we’ve ever had to deal with,’ Police Sgt. Jonathan Wear said in a televised press conference following the shooting. ‘But we do believe that this was done by David Priest.’
David was Grayson’s step-father, the police report.
He and Paiden were engaged in June and married in August, according to their public Facebook profiles.
Police found Paiden Nicole Priest, 23, right, and her two-year-old son, Grayson Alexander Beckham dead at their home in Van Buren, Arks.
David and Paiden were engaged in June and were married in August.
David Priest changed his Facebook profile picture on April 15 to an image of him kissing Paiden’s pregnant belly, calling her an ‘all-around amazing wife’
On April 15, he changed his profile picture to an image of him kissing Paiden’s pregnant belly with the caption ‘My gorgeous and all-around amazing wife no matter what.’
It is unclear what the motive was for the shooting, Wear said, but a neighbor had reported hearing an argument before the gunshots went off.
The neighbor told police he was sleeping in bed with his wife and woke up to find a bullet hole in the headboard right above their heads.
‘Me and my wife were sleeping and we heard a gunshot,’ the neighbor reported. ‘Then it happened again and we turned our light on and it looked like a gunshot came through our room from the drywall next door.’
Police were able to recover handgun from the scene, they said, and have obtained a search warrant to collect further evidence in an attempt to ‘piece together what happened,’ according to local news station 4029 News.
David worked as an electrician. Police now believe he is the one who shot his wife and step-son in an apparent murder-suicide
They were found dead inside their homes in Van Buren, Arkansas
David, Paiden and Grayson’s bodies have been sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock for autopsies
The bodies have also been sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock for autopsies.
Friends and family have since paid tribute to Paiden and Grayson, and her unborn son, Elijah, on Facebook.
She had celebrated her baby shower the week before.
Allie Price, who identified herself as Paiden’s cousin, posted a photo montage she made of Paiden and Grayson, writing, ‘RIP to my beautiful cousin and her sweet babies.’
‘I know you and your sweet boys are up there dancing.’
Deann Steele, Paiden’s mother-in-law, also wrote a tribute, identifying Paiden as her ‘only daughter-in-law.’
‘I wish I could trade places with you all,’ she wrote on Paiden’s Facebook, ‘my life doesn’t feel the same.’