A man shot his 2-year-old son and then turned the gun on himself in an overnight murder suicide in the Poplar Springs Road area, according to authorities.
Hall County Sheriff’s Office deputies first responded around 12:30 a.m. to a call about a “man assaulting a 23-year-old woman and leaving the residence with the couple’s 2-year-old son.”
The man, identified as Christian Castro, 24, left with his son, Christian Castro Jr.
Deputies spotted Castro’s vehicle on the property of a home adjacent to his on Poplar Springs Road.
“As deputies approached the car on foot, Castro fired several gunshots at them, but no one was injured. Deputies could see Castro’s son sitting on his lap in the car,” spokesman Derreck Booth wrote in a news release.
Castro drove around in a pasture as law enforcement established a perimeter. A negotiator was unsuccessful in reaching Castro by phone after multiple attempts.
“At approximately 3:30 a.m., deputies heard gunshots coming from Castro’s vehicle. Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team members immediately approached the car and discovered that Castro had shot and killed his son, then turned the gun on himself,” Booth said.
Booth said no shots were fired out of concern for the child’s safety.
Both bodies were taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab.
Police for Gainesville, Oakwood, Flowery Branch and Gwinnett County assisted in the case as well as the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and Georgia State Patrol.
“First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers go out to the child’s family, and we ask that our community do the same. During the course of this incident the perpetrator fired upon the deputies, who in turn demonstrated remarkable restraint by not returning fire out of concern for the safety of the child. They quickly contained the situation to ensure that no other lives were put at risk, and they undertook efforts to bring the incident to a peaceful resolution,” Sheriff Gerald Couch in part of a statement.
The case is still under investigation.
This is the second fatal shooting related to domestic violence in less than a week.
Sabrina Banks Turner, 48, of Flowery Branch, was charged with voluntary manslaughter Saturday, June 22, in the death of her live-in boyfriend, Everton Carter, 44, in Flowery Branch.
“It is a rare day that an officer in any jurisdiction works an entire shift without responding to a domestic-related call, many of which involve some form of physical violence. This is why the partnerships we share with agencies and organizations that work to combat domestic violence are critical. We want to emphasize that there is hope for those who find themselves in domestic violence relationships, as we have resources available that can be of assistance to victims to help them safely escape the situation, and hopefully avoid a tragedy similar to what we’ve seen today,” Couch said in a statement.