Today In Guns: Murder-Suicide Kills 6 In South Carolina
A South Carolina man killed his girlfriend, four members of his family and then himself over a custody dispute.
The suspected gunman, Bryan Eugene Sweatt, 27, was likely waiting for the victims on Tuesday when they returned to their home in Greenwood County, South Carolina, Sheriff Tony Davis told reporters.
The victims, who ranged in age from 9 to 51, died of gunshot wounds to the head or upper body from a large-caliber handgun, local authorities said.
“I’ve never had anything of this magnitude,” said Davis, a veteran law enforcement officer. “What you see in a horrific scene like this can never leave you.”
Police were called Tuesday evening to the residence on a rural highway in northwest South Carolina by a man who said he was armed and thinking about harming himself.
A SWAT team and hostage negotiator who reported to the scene failed to make contact with anyone inside, police said. When officers entered the house about an hour later, they found the six bodies in various rooms, Davis said.
Sweatt, whose girlfriend was identified as Chandra Fields, posted rants on Facebook.
“im about to lose it i just want someone to talk to and be here with me so bad im about to just get in tha truck and ram it in tha biggest f—-n pole i can find,” said a message on Oct. 9. “nobody gives a f–k about me cuz of what that stupid b—h done to me she played me for to long i cant take it anymore ive ask for someone just to be here for me to take my mind off doing somthing stupid to hurt myself i cant take tha pain anymore…”
The often long and rambling complaints increasingly focused on Fields and the custody battle over their 7-month-old daughter.
On Oct. 20, he wrote “…u dont care and never have u never wanted her to no me but always remember its gonna come back on u when she grows up and thats whats gonna make her hate u.”