ELKMONT, Ala. (AP) — A cousin of an Alabama youth charged with killing five relatives said the slayings occurred days after the teen learned that the woman he considered his mother wasn’t a biological parent.
Daisy McCarty told news outlets she believes that revelation led to the slayings, which happened Monday in the north Alabama town of Elkmont.
The youth told authorities he fatally shot his father, stepmother and three siblings who were 6 or younger, sheriff’s officials said.
McCarty told the station the youth learned about his stepmother last week.
“He didn’t know any different of who his mom was,” she said, adding: “And they just recently told him, and I think that’s really what triggered the little boy, to be honest with you.”
The youth also had been acting out in recent months by burning live animals and breaking into his school, she said.
Authorities haven’t released the suspect’s name because of his age, and The Associated Press isn’t using the victims’ names to avoid identifying him.
The suspect’s father was free on $15,000 bond after being arrested earlier this year on a felony charge of having a gun during a burglary, court records show. Authorities haven’t released any information about the weapon used in the killings, other than that it was in the home illegally.