Local News

Man Shoots Son, Self in Cumberland County

Posted August 10, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT

— A man killed his 5-year-old son and then shot himself after a standoff with police Friday evening in the Eureka Springs community, just east of Fort Bragg.

Authorities say 36-year-old Thomas Stewart III was fighting with his ex-wife at their home on Braxton Avenue at 4:30 p.m. She ran out to get help. When law enforcement arrived at the house, the man was holding their son hostage.

After two hours of waiting and negotiating, sheriff deputies heard a gunshot inside the house. When they ran into the house, they found the father and his son, Thomas IV, shot to death in a back room.

"It's a very sad situation because I have children and a grandchild," says Cumberland County Sheriff Moose Butler. "Most of the officers have children."

WRAL has confirmed that the mother is from Mississippi and is in the military. Stewart was in the military. He had just spent some time with his son in Texas.

The son was set to begin kindergarten Monday morning.