Moral Low Ground


Matthew Fields Kills Wife, 2 Boys, Self in Suwanee, GA Murder-Suicide

Jacob and Jared Smith (Forsyth County Schools)

Jacob and Jared Smith (Forsyth County Schools)

A suburban Atlanta man reportedly having relationship problems shot and killed his wife and two young sons before turning the gun on himself and ending his own life on Wednesday.

The Associated Press reports 32-year-old Matthew Fields fatally shot his wife, Rebecca Manning, and her two sons, 9-year-old Jacob Smith and 8-year-old Jared Smith, and critically wounded Manning’s father, who lived with the family in their home in Suwanee, 33 miles (53 km) northeast of Atlanta.

WXIA reports sheriff’s deputies had been called to the family’s home on Old Atlanta Road on Tuesday night on a domestic violence call. Upon arrival, deputies described the home’s residents as uncooperative, and they saw no signs of any physical altercation. Fields was not present in the home.

“Deputies did respond out here and were told, ‘Nothing’s going on,'” Major Rick Doyle of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office told reporters on Wednesday. “We can’t help someone who’s denying and not involving us in that process. When we do respond to calls like this, and it’s a domestic call, and they say everything’s fine, and we don’t see anything out of order, legally we’re limited in what can do and how we can act.”

Sheriff Duane Piper said at a Wednesday news conference that authorities did not know what motivated Fields to murder, although he said there were indications of relationship problems between the couple.

“We have absolutely no clue at this point what precipitated it,” Piper said.

Before killing himself, Fields phoned his mother and confessed to the killings, telling her he was about to take his own life as well, according to 911 dispatcher documents.

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