Van Buren murder suicide: Paiden Nicole Priest pregnant woman and 2 year old son, Grayson Alexander Beckham shot dead by David Wayne Priest who then kills self after verbal argument at residence.
Police found Paiden Nicole Priest, 23, her son, Grayson Alexander Beckham, and her husband, David Wayne Priest, 24, 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 during a press conference. ‘But we do believe that this was done by David Priest.’
David was Grayson’s step-father, the police report stated according to 5NEWS.
He and Paiden who worked as a nurse, were engaged in June and married in August, according to their public Facebook profiles.
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.’
At the time of her death, Paige was in her third trimester of pregnancy KATV reported.
It is unclear what the motive was for the shooting. Neither adult had any previous issues with police, nor had any calls been made in regard to domestic disputes, Wear said.
On the morning of the shootings, 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.’
What went wrong?
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,’ 4029 News reported.
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.’