Police: Man who killed 4, self fought with ex over taxes

DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. (AP) — A man had argued with his ex-wife over taxes and child support before he showed up at her house and killed her and three other people and then fatally shot himself, an investigator said Monday.

The shooting happened just after 3 p.m. Saturday as neighbors were outside enjoying unusually warm weather. Cedric G. Prather Jr., 33, parked about a quarter mile away and walked inside a suburban Atlanta home, fatally shooting his ex-wife, 33-year-old Latoya A. Andrews, and her boyfriend, 33-year-old Joseph Terry Brown, police said.

Prather also killed two of his children, including one who begged him not to pull the trigger, police said.

Prather left no note explaining his actions, Douglas County sheriff’s Capt. Bruce Ferguson said.

“I can’t tell you why he did it,” Ferguson said. “All I can do is to say he snapped or he had enough is what we’ve concluded in our investigation.”

Prather and Andrews had fought over custody and child support payments for the three children they shared, and Andrews got a protective order against him a year and a half ago, court records show.

The shooting happened in a subdivision in Douglasville, about 20 miles west of Atlanta. Prather killed his 7-year-old daughter, London, and 9-year-old son, Jeremiah. He shot and critically wounded two other children: Andrews’ 15-year-old daughter, Demeshia Owens, and Brown’s 7-year-old daughter, Jada Brown.

A third child of Andrews and Prather, a 13-year-old boy, was not home at the time. Prather and Andrews divorced in 2006, according to court records.

Andrews had asked judge for a temporary protective order in August 2013. At one point, she wrote, he forced his way inside her locked home when she was there alone, she wrote in court documents. He also pinned her down on the stairs and sexually assaulted her, she wrote in court documents.

The documents didn’t indicate whether criminal charges were ever sought, and there is no record of them in the case.

The judge ordered Prather to stay away from Andrews and her home. Meetings for him to pick up and drop off the children were to take place in the Douglasville Police Department parking lot, the order says. The order expired Oct. 9, 2014.

In December 2013, the Georgia Department of Human Services said in a court filing that Prather owed $31,800 in past-due child support.

Prather and Andrews reached a custody agreement in May 2014. And a few months later, the court issued a final order in a separate case for him to pay $437 a month in child support and pay a past-due sum to be determined.

Police said the pair also fought about taxes but could not provide any more details about that.

Neighbors heard gunshots within a few minutes of Prather’s arrival Saturday and called 911, Ferguson said. A witness told police one of Prather’s children was heard outside pleading with him not to shoot.

After the rampage, Prather killed himself in the street.

Prather used a .45-caliber handgun to shoot all the victims and himself, and stopped at least once to reload. The sheriff’s office is working with federal authorities to see if bought the gun legally.

Brandon Hallman was working on a car a few houses down when the shooting started.

“I heard a couple quick shots, you know, back to back to back. Went out there and, you know, looked and it was already over,” Hallman said. “We just grabbed some towels and kind of went down there to try and help before the paramedics got here.”

 

 

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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