Geneva County Sheriff’s Deputy Josh Myers got the message on his phone Tuesday. He had no idea that the request to return home had to do with his wife and three children had been injured in one of the worst gun tragedies ever in Alabama.
He had another message, the a suspect was firing on an officer during a chase.
Those two messages were connected.
He drove to Reliable Metal Products where a gunman killed himself. The man left behind victims in four other locations.
Myers, himself is now a widow due to the gunman. His wife Andrea and 1 1/2-year-old daughter Corinne Gracy. Ella Kay, 3 months-old is in hospital with bullet wounds. Only his son, 4, escaped injury. He was found hiding in the home after the shooting.
“He was present when it happened,” Myers said. “He knows something’s wrong. He asked where mama was, and I had to tell him she was with Jesus. This is going to take a long time to work through it.”
Wife Andrea was holding Ella Kay and visiting with neighbours when the gun man, now identified as Michael McLendon, opened fire.
The neighbours that were on the Myers porch knew McLendon. They were his relatives.
Sheriff Myer‘s now is dealing with grief. Little Ella Kay will have surgery today in a Pensacola, Florida hospital to remove shrapnel near her femoral artery.
“It’s supposed to be me out here getting shot, not my family,” Myers said, speaking barely above a whisper. “I’d step out on the street any day and take a bullet for anybody in this community. Anybody. I take that risk when I go to work every day, I take that risk when I’m off.
“Nobody’s family should have this done,” he added, holding pictures of his wife and daughters.
Questions now are being asked as to why McLendon went on the rampage. All of the murders happened under an hour. That was four locations.
At one point McLendon was a police officer in Samson, one of the town’s in this tragedy. He failed to complete the ‘required training’ at the police academy in 2003 though according to police talking to CNN.
He “didn’t last a week and a half” at the police academy, according to Col. Christopher Murphy, director of the state’s Department of Public Safety. “He got no firearms training.”
The gunman had worked at Reliable Metal, said state Rep. Warren Beck, a Republican whose district includes Geneva.
“My secretary heard gunfire everywhere,” he said. “This is one of the most tragic events ever in Geneva County.”
The final carnage left dead and grieving in four towns.
McLendon started at the home he shared with his mother in Kinston. His mother’s remains were left in a burning home along with four dogs. She had been shot.
Samson saw other relatives and the Myer’s family gunned down.
He is also accused of shooting a man in a mobile home on his family member’s yard.
The last of McLendon’s victim were killed at a Big-Little Store service station. It appears this was a random shooting.
He fired onto the police that were in pursuit. His final stop was a business that had employed him in the past; Reliable plant in Geneva. There the police rammed his car forcing him to exit. He did so armed with what appeared to be an
He entered the building and the police heard shots fired. The final death in the hour of carnage was his own.