Local News

Clayton father kills wife, stepson, then self

Posted July 13, 2010 8:36 a.m. EDT
Updated July 14, 2010 8:22 a.m. EDT

— 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.

"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'."