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Neighbours shocked as US man shoots family, himself

09 February 2015, 08:03

Douglasville - A quiet, suburban neighbourhood outside Atlanta was left reeling after a man shot six people - killing four of them, including his ex-wife and several children - before ending the rampage by fatally turning the gun on himself, police said.

The shooting happened Saturday around 15:00 in a subdivision about 32km west of Atlanta, Douglas County Sheriff's Lieutenant Glenn Daniel said.

Horrified neighbours called the police emergency dispatcher and then tried to help the severely wounded victims as best they could before rescuers arrived.

The gunman was identified as Cedric G Prather, 33, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said on Sunday.

The sheriff's office also identified the adults killed as Latoya A Andrews, Prather's ex-wife; and Joseph Terry Brown. Both were 33 years old. A 7-year-old child died at the scene, and a 9-year-old was taken to a hospital but also died, the sheriff's office said in a statement.

Two other children, an 8-year-old and a 15-year-old, were in critical but stable condition at a hospital, the statement said.

Authorities haven't identified any of the children who were shot.

A news conference is planned for Monday in Douglasville, where authorities plan to share more details of how the shooting transpired. Officials hoped to share something about the motive during the news conference, Lieutenant Glenn Daniel told The Associated Press.

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Teresa Carter, 59, said she heard the gunfire from inside her home but did not see what happened. Carter said she often saw the children playing in the driveway and around the neighbourhood. They enjoyed petting her dog.

"I heard shots, and I heard the girl scream," Carter said. "And then I heard four more shots."

Another neighbour, Angela Ansah, struggled to explain to her own children what happened to their slain friends a few houses down. Ansah said some of the children targeted on Saturday often came over to her house to play with her own children.

"These are children I see every day, every blessed day," Ansah said.

- AP

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