SULLIVAN COUNTY (WJHL) – Investigators are trying to determine a motive after a gunman killed three relatives in a surprise attack witnessed by several children in a home in eastern Tennessee.
Robert Seth Denton, 19, is accused of killing his mother, step-father and grandmother inside a Bristol, Tennessee home.
Monday morning, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office released the name of the victims.
Denton’s mother, 39-year-old Toshya Millhorn, step-father 36-year-old James Millhorn and grandmother 57-year-old Lena Rose were all fatally wounded at a home located in the 600 block of Henson Road around 5:45 p.m.
Denton faces three counts of first-degree murder, aggravated assault and felony reckless endangerment charges.
When officers responded to the scene Saturday evening, Toshya Millhorn and Lena Rose were found dead on the scene. James Millhorn died later at Johnson City Medical Center.
A fourth victim, a 7-year-old girl, is said to be in stable condition.
News Channel 11 was told Denton was shot by his grandfather during the shooting and was taken to Bristol Regional Medical Center before his arrest. He is currently being held at the Sullivan County Correctional Facility.
Sheriff Wayne Anderson revealed more details in a press conference Monday morning.
Sheriff Anderson said officers talked to Curtis Rose, Denton’s grandfather, who told them his grandson was responsible for the shootings. Rose told deputies, he was doing some work next to the home when he was approached by his grandson who told him the needed to call 911. Rose told investigators he went inside the home and found the victims and took the children to another room.
Rose told investigators, he then grabbed a pistol, ran out the home and spotted his grandson at the end of the driveway – as he was about to leave the property.
Rose told officers he fired a shot at Denton, striking him in the arm.
Police found Denton moments later at the 800 block of Henson Road.
Six children were inside the home at the time of the shooting. The bodies of the victims have been sent off for an autopsy.
The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office says the investigation is ongoing.