BROOKHAVEN, MS (AP) — A man who got into an argument with his estranged wife over their children was arrested in a house-to-house shooting rampage in rural Mississippi that left eight people dead, including his mother-in-law and a sheriff’s deputy.
“I ain’t fit to live, not after what I done,” a handcuffed Willie Corey Godbolt, 35, told The Clarion-Ledger.
The gunfire erupted Saturday night at a home in Bogue Chitto after the deputy arrived in response to a domestic disturbance call, and spread to two houses in nearby Brookhaven, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) south of Jackson.
The dead included two boys, investigators said. Godbolt was hospitalized in good condition with a gunshot wound, though it wasn’t clear who shot him.
No immediate charges were filed, and Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain said it was too soon to say what the motive was. Authorities gave no details on the relationship between Godbolt and the victims.
However, a witness and Godbolt himself shed some light on what happened, with Godbolt giving an interview to the newspaper as he sat with his hands cuffed behind his back on the side of a road.
Godbolt said he was talking with his wife and in-laws when somebody called authorities.
“I was having a conversation with her stepdaddy and her mama and her, my wife, about me taking my children home,” he said. “Somebody called the officer, people that didn’t even live at the house. That’s what they do. They intervene.”
“They cost him his life,” he said, apparently referring to the deputy. “I’m sorry.”
The stepfather-in-law, Vincent Mitchell, told The Associated Press that Godbolt’s wife and their two children had been staying at his Bogue Chitto home for about three weeks after she left her husband.
After the sheriff’s deputy arrived at the house, Godbolt looked as if he was about to leave, then reached into his back pocket, pulled a gun and opened fire, Mitchell said.
Mitchell said he escaped along with Godbolt’s wife. But he said three family members were killed in his home: his wife, her sister and one of the wife’s daughters.
“I’m devastated. It don’t seem like it’s real,” Mitchell said.
The slain deputy was identified as William Durr, 36.
After fleeing his in-laws’ house, Godbolt killed four more people at two other homes, authorities said. At least seven hours elapsed between the first shootings and Godbolt’s arrest near the third and final crime scene, Strain said.
Godbolt said he did not intend for police to capture him alive.
“My intentions was to have God kill me. I ran out of bullets,” he said. “Suicide by cop was my intention.”