Local News

Moncure mourns after murder-suicide that killed 7

Posted March 16, 2020 8:39 a.m. EDT
Updated March 16, 2020 6:50 p.m. EDT

— Chatham County sheriff’s deputies called to three homes on a single property in Moncure Sunday evening found seven people dead in what they characterized as a murder-suicide.

A teenage boy, hiding in his bedroom closet, called 911 just after 5 p.m. to report a gunman in his house.

A family member told WRAL News that a man named Larry Ray shot six adults and then himself.

Deputies identified the dead as:

Jeanie Ray, 67, the wife of the suspected gunman;

Helen Mason, 93, his mother-in-law;

Mason's guests, Lisa Mansfield, 54, and her husband Ellis Mansfield, 73;

and John Paul Sanderford, 41, and Nicole Sanderford, 39.

Relatives said Ray first shot his wife, then the three adults at Mason's house, then the Sanderfords in their home.

It was their 16-year-old son who called 911. The Sanderfords' 13-year-old son was not home during the attack.

Relatives said they don't know what sparked the attack.

“To lose any family member is devastating, but to lose several at once to unexpected violence is unimaginable," said Sheriff Mike Roberson.

Law enforcement officers from the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation were on the scene as much as 12 hours after the original call about shots fired.

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