Van Buren Police: Pregnant mother and toddler shot to death; father involved in murder-suicide investigation

River Valley News

VAN BUREN, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The shooting that left three dead, including the shooter, in Van Buren is being investigated as a murder-suicide.

Sgt. Jonathan Wear with Van Buren Police Department said dispatch received a 911 call of a shooting at around 12:41 a.m. Sunday after a neighbor could hear arguing then gunshots.

Paiden Nicole Priest, 23, and a two-year-old toddler / courtesy photo

According to Wear, a pregnant mother, and a toddler were identified in the house when officers arrived. The two victims were later identified as 23-year-old Paiden Nicole Priest and her two-year-old son both dead from gunshot wounds.

The other gunshot victim and later determined by police the shooter was David Wayne Priest, 24. David was transported to a Northwest Arkansas hospital where he later died.

According to Sgt. Wear, after obtaining a search warrant on the house, police are investigating the scene as a murder-suicide.

A handgun was recovered from the home, police said. The bodies have been sent to Little Rock for autopsies.

“Our hearts go out to the friends and families of the victims,” Wear said. “This is definitely a hard thing for them to deal with. This is one of the worst cases we have ever had to deal with.”

Police are not certain on a motive for the shooting but said it’s under investigation.

According to police, Paiden was in “late-term” pregnancy.


Original Story

VAN BUREN, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Three people are dead after a shooting took place in Van Buren early Sunday morning.

Sgt. Jonathan Wear with Van Buren Police Department said dispatch received a 911 call of a shooting at around 12:41 a.m.

When officers arrived they found a man with a gunshot wound, a deceased woman, and a deceased child.

Police said the man later died at the hospital as a result of his injuries.

Sgt. Wear said the incident doesn’t pose any threat to the public.

“The public isn’t in danger at this time and we are not actively seeking anyone.  Hopefully, I can release more later,” he said.

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