Home News Arkansas family including pregnant mom found dead, investigated as a murder-suicide

Arkansas family including pregnant mom found dead, investigated as a murder-suicide


Ty Thompson

Times Record, Fort Smith, Ark.

The deaths of three people early Sunday morning in Van Buren are being investigated as a murder-suicide.

Sunday at 12:48 a.m. Van Buren police were called to a duplex on the 2000 block of Williams Street after a neighbor heard arguing followed by gunshots. The neighbor stated in his 911 call that he thought a bullet made its way through a shared wall of the duplex into his apartment. This was later confirmed by police.

When police arrived at the scene, they found three victims with gunshot wounds. Paiden Nicole Priest, 23, and 2-year-old Grayson Alexander Beckham were found dead at the scene along with David Wayne Priest, 24, who was transported to Baptist Health in Van Buren with a gunshot wound. Priest was life-flighted from Baptist Health to Northwest Arkansas where he died from his wounds.

David Priest Facebook

At the time of the shooting, Paiden Priest was pregnant. At this time evidence is suggesting David Priest was the shooter, police said.

“This is one of the worst cases we have had to deal with,” said Van Buren Police Department Communications Officer Sgt. Jonathon Wear.

Police are investigating the motive of the shooting, but there is no definitive motive yet.

Wear does not recall any previous domestic issues with the couple and has not seen any reports filed on them in the past.

The police do not believe there is any danger to the public.


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