Man killed after confronting neighbors

May 25, 2009 6:27:01 AM PDT
A man who didn't get his nightly telephone call from his mother while she was traveling mistakenly claimed his neighbors had kidnapped her and stormed into their house to kill them before police officers shot him dead in a bloody standoff, authorities said. Richard D. Carr, who apparently believed his mother had been killed or kidnapped, was armed with two handguns when he pounded on next-door neighbor John Murphy's front door Sunday morning and announced he was going to kill Murphy and his family, police said.

"You killed my family. Now I'm going to kill yours," Carr said before he began shooting, according to police.

The ordeal began around dawn, when Carr called police to report his parents, who live in Monroe, Mich., about 20 miles north of Toledo, had been kidnapped or murdered and his neighbors had something to do with it, police said. Carr, 32, claimed that his mother called him every night but hadn't called him Saturday and that there were noises coming from the Murphys' backyard, they said.

Officers said they visited Carr but determined there "wasn't any real evidence" to conclude something had happened to his parents and there was no reason to arrest him.

Two hours later, the shooting started next door.

John Murphy, 51, was shot at least four times, twice in the chest, and had life-threatening injuries, police Chief Mike Navarre said. His wife, Janet Murphy, 50, and their son, Eric Murphy, 25, were shot at least once each but were able to run out of the house, which is on a residential street on the city's north side.

John Murphy was hospitalized in critical condition Sunday night, and his wife and son were in serious condition, police said.

Two granddaughters, ages 3 and 8, hid under a bed in a back bedroom when they heard the shooting, police said. They were rescued by officers who broke a window and pulled them out when they heard another burst of gunshots.

Police said they negotiated with Carr for 10 to 15 minutes while he held the wounded and bloodied Murphy hostage. They said he fired shots at officers in the front doorway and outside the house and they fired back once, striking him in the head and killing him.

Other neighbors said Carr had acted strangely on Saturday and had talked about a civil war in his parents' hometown, which is about 35 miles southwest of Detroit.

Police said they went to the parents' home and found Carr's brother, who said their parents had been visiting Tennessee and were doing fine.

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