Local News

Clayton father kills wife, stepson, then self

Posted July 13, 2010
Updated July 14, 2010

— Johnston County authorities said a Clayton man shot his wife and his teenage stepson before turning the gun on himself Tuesday morning.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Tammy Amaon said deputies were called to 640 Castleberry Road in Clayton around 7:50 a.m., where they found the bodies of William "Billy" House, 50, Devinee R. House, 41, and Dakoda Johnson, 15.

Three children under age 10 were also in the house at the time, but they were not harmed.

Investigators haven't commented on a possible motive for the shootings but said the Houses were in the process of separating. Deputies had been called to the home four times since April, most recently on Saturday.

William House, who worked for the City of Raleigh Inspections Department, lived in an apartment on the property, authorities said. His wife and the children lived inside the house.

Neighbors said they heard a series of gunshots sometime between 1 and 2 a.m.

A 911 call wasn’t made until about six hours later, which was about the time the younger children awoke, authorities said. Their grandmother arrived shortly thereafter and took them away from the scene.

Clayton triple shooting Triple shooting stuns Clayton neighbors

"I'm shocked – the type of person I saw in him – that he would do something like that," neighbor Kayla Spencer said.

Neighbors described the family as "incredibly friendly, religious people," who home-schooled their children and raised emus and chickens.

But some said they did hear the couple argue almost nightly.

During the day though, the family's yard, now closed off by police tape, was filled with giggles and innocence from the Houses' three other children – the oldest 8, the youngest, 2.

"Every day, (William House was) out there with the kids, playing, riding bikes," neighbor Rose Parnell said. "Those three little kids – I can't imagine what went through their mind."

"That yellow tape is scary," she added. "You see that on TV, not at your next-door neighbors'."


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  • lovin020 Jul 15, 2010

    Both sides are in need of prayers. I wish some people had more common sense about what they type that the whole world can read. No one really knows what happen that night except the victims that were there. I didn't read every last comment made on here but it seems to me none of ya'll know either side of the families. I guess if you grew up in the community where the families are from you would have a different insight on the store. Me personally knowing some family memebers on each side its still heart breaking it happen. Having cookouts in the same neighborhood where the couple lived and ya'll are hating on the neighbors bc they didnt call the police department. Just remember that the law had been out there four times since april most recent was on saturday night, if they feared some thing like this was going to happen they would have done something. Everyone in the neighborhood and community is shocked. So please dont hate on the people and vitims in this. They are all in n

  • ALL4JEUSS Jul 14, 2010

    The entire family is in the prayers of many. May they find peace and healing in the midst of this tragedy. I didn't know the father but noone deserves to be judged. None of were there.

  • mhwilder629 Jul 14, 2010

    AMEN to Justin T...Billy was part of my family and anyone that wants to jump the gun and judge him for this one action is so wrong. This isn't a time for an negative comments. We all need support.

  • Tenderhardt Jul 14, 2010

    I find it troubling that so many people have blamed the VICTIMS for this tragedy. They seem to have lost sight of the fact that 2 innocents are dead at the hand of another. This is not a time to place blame on anyone. Three young children have lost both parents and a sibling. They have seen something no one should have ever seen. Negative comments have no place in this. My heart goes out to the loved ones of this tragedy. May the Good Lord help them heal.

  • Justin T. Jul 14, 2010

    Scroll down to Rev. R B's comments if you want to see the proper response to this situation. I knew Billy and the whole thing is shocking and painful to imagine. I just want his family to know that people support them and I'm not sure why anyone thinks hateful comments will make things better.

  • MileageDontTakeYourKidsCrap Jul 14, 2010

    what an incredibly selfish, arrogant person this 'man' is for not only taking two lives other than his own, but for leaving the crime to be found by the young children in the house.

    may these innocent babies find themselves in safe, caring hands, and may they heal in time.

  • yachtman Jul 13, 2010

    Willow - I want to echo exactly itsmyownopinion's comment. VERY sorry for your loss.

  • itsmyownopinion Jul 13, 2010

    I am truly sorry willow. I can only imagine. :(

  • yachtman Jul 13, 2010

    Just for a moment lets remove emotion and your unsupported opinions from the mix and take a look at some facts:
    1-There is no statistical support for the conclusion that gun control legislation save lives or reduces the rate of violent crime.
    2-On the other hand there is a great deal of evidence that the exact opposite is true. The old statement that outlawing handguns leaves only outlaws with guns has repeatedly been proven to be accurate.
    3-Not withstanding your own personal experience of having "frozen" when you've had guns repeatedly pointed in your face, perhaps citizens well trained in the use of firearms (and less panic prone) should have the chance to save their own lives and/or the lives of their families via use of a firearm should the situation require it. Here's an inconvenient truth for you - there are MANY innocent people that are alive today ONLY because they had access to a firearm in a crisis situation.

  • itsmyownopinion Jul 13, 2010

    Quote from news story: "Neighbors said they heard a series of gunshots sometime between 1 and 2 a.m.

    A 911 call wasn’t made until about six hours later, which was about the time the younger children awoke, authorities said. Their grandmother arrived shortly thereafter and took them away from the scene."

    I'm fairly certain if I heard 'a series of gunshots sometime between 1 and 2 a.m.' I would have dialed 911. Would it have made a difference? Perhaps, perhaps not, but maybe, just maybe. Can anyone imagine the horror an eight year old child feels upon discovering such carnage on the morning after? I hope this child especially, as well as the others, receive some serious therapy.