Goodlettsville murder suicide: James Travis Pitts shoots dead wife, Barbara Pitts, their two young daughters, MaKayla Kleinert and Riley Pitts then self. Dad told dispatchers he snapped.
The Goodlettsville man, James Travis Pitts, 32, called 911 about 6:30 a.m. and said he had just gunned down his 32-year-old wife, and their daughters, ages 6 and 13, the Tennessean reported, citing Metro Nashville police spokesperson Brooke Reese.
While dispatchers tried to keep the man on the phone, an off-duty cop on his way home in the area rushed to the scene, where he tried to talk to the shooter over a PA system in the police car and get him to surrender, Reese said.
But a gunshot soon rang out from the home at 6:38 a.m.
The officer discovered the man dead in his living room and the 6-year-old dead in a bedroom, Reese said. A suicide note and Glock pistol were found inside of the home according to a government advisory.
Father said he was experiencing mental health issues and ‘snapped’
He found the 13-year-old girl in another room and the mother in the master bedroom.
Both were still alive but the girl was pronounced dead on arrival at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the woman died later during surgery there.
The victims were identified as Barbara Pitts, 32, MaKayla Kleinert, 13, and Riley Pitts.
At some point during negotations, the father, James Travis Pitts said he planned to shoot himself upon police arrival. He explained that he was experiencing mental health issues and ‘snapped’ according to WKRN.
Animal control officials also responded to the residence to tend to a couple of dogs found on the property.
Neighbor, Ronnie Van Kleeck said he has often heard gunfire outside the home but never worried about any danger, adding that the father appeared to have a friendly disposition.
‘It’s very disturbing,’ he told the Tennessean.
No known motive for the Goodlettsville murder suicide was given.