Sheriff: N.C man kills wife, children and family dog before shooting self

CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN/Gray News) - Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes said a husband shot and killed his wife, three young children and the family dog before turning the gun on himself.

(Source: Contributed/WITN/Gray News)

Deputies were called to a home outside of Vanceboro around noon Friday by a family member who said she was unable to contact the family since Wednesday evening.

Deputies saw a body through a partially opened curtain and forced their way inside the home.

They found the body of Michael Ireland, 39, in the master bedroom with a gunshot to the head and a revolver found beside the body. The family dog was also discovered in the same bedroom.

The bodies of 26-year-old April Ireland and eight-month-old Caroline were on a living room couch.

Michael, 4, and Bryson, 3, were on another couch in the living room. All had a single gunshot wound.

The sheriff said there were no signs of a struggle inside the home.

Hughes says the county has never experienced such a senseless loss of lives in recent history. Veteran law enforcement officers described this as the most horrific case in their career.

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