KEY POINTS

  • A 23-year-old pregnant woman, her husband, and a 2-year-old were killed in the shooting incident
  • Neighbors notified police after they heard sound of gunshots
  • They also said that before the shots were fired, the couple was likely arguing about something

In a murder-suicide incident in Arkansas, a 24-year-old man killed his pregnant wife and her 2-year-old son before shooting himself. 

The Van Buren Police Department arrived at a home on Williams Street on Sunday and found the bodies of a 23-year-old pregnant woman, her husband and a 2-year-old baby. The woman was identified as Paiden Priest. Authorities said David Priest shot his wife, who was in the third trimester of her pregnancy, and stepson.

All three had gunshot wounds. David was alive when the police reached the home. He was rushed to a local hospital but he died.

"This is one of the worst cases that we've had to ever deal with," Van Buren police Sgt. Jonathan Wear said, ABC-affiliated 40/29 News reported. "But we do believe that this was done by David Priest."

Police arrived at the scene after a neighbor called 911 and reported that bullets were shot through the wall of their duplex. The neighbor said one bullet hit his headboard, right above where he and his wife were sleeping.

Neighbors told 40/29 News that they believe the couple was fighting before the shooting. People living in the neighborhood heard some argument, Police Sgt. Jonathan Wear said.

"A couple weeks back they were all playing outside," Sarah Beals, a neighbor, said. "They're always nice, they're sweet. The wife's beautiful and she was so pretty and the child was so sweet, so kind. No innocent life should be taken and a child not even born yet and a toddler, no life should be taken."

The reason for the argument and the motive behind the shooting remain unclear. 

In February in Oklahoma, a father killed his two teenage daughters before shooting himself. Officers from the Sand Springs Police Department found the three people dead in a house. The police reached the house after the mother of the teenagers received a call from her husband, who said he would kill his daughters and then himself. The woman quickly informed the police but by the time authorities reached the scene, the man and his daughters were dead. Authorities said a gun was used in the murder-suicide.

 If you have thoughts of suicide, confidential help is available for free at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255. The line is available 24 hours, every day.

Crime Scene Police tape stock photo. Photo: Stacy Revere/Getty Images