Murder/Suicide claims four lives

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A man shot and killed his wife, her daughter and a family friend near Spearsville over the weekend.

Union Parish Sheriff Dusty Gates said Christopher Colvin, 48, originally from Alabama, was responsible for the deaths after a family dispute.

The sheriff said investigators determined that Colvin shot and killed his wife, Casey Colvin, 40; her daughter, Billie Beaird, 18; and family friend, Lela Platt, 17. A 12-gauge shotgun was used in the incident that occurred in the family’s mobile home on Jack Beaird Road near Spearsville.

“This was a tragic loss of life, “ Gates said. We hate to see this happen anywhere.”

Another teenage daughter, who was at the residence, escaped through a window, ran to a neighbor’s house and called the sheriff’s office about 1:40 a.m. Saturday.

Gates said Colvin, after shooting the victims, took a 30-06 rifle and fatally shot himself.

The sheriff said when the first deputies arrived on the scene they heard the wife screaming for help. “Deputies then made entry into the house and Pafford (Ambulance) was taking that victim to the hospital but she died en route,” Gates said. “The 18-year-old was found in the hallway and her friend was found in a bathroom.”

According to the sheriff, the mother had locked herself inside a bedroom and Platt had locked herself in the bathroom. He said the shooter used the shotgun to blast the doors open and then shot the victims.

The victims were sent to Little Rock, Ark., where autopsies are scheduled.

Gates said the Spearsville Fire Department, Union Parish Sheriff’s Reserve Unit and Farmerville police all helped at the scene.

“Not only is this difficult on the victims’ families,” Gates added. “but also affects the first responders and law enforcement officers who have to respond to such tragedies.”

The incident is still under investigation.