GREENWOOD, S.C. — A South Carolina man in a custody dispute with a onetime girlfriend broke into her parents’ home and fatally shot the woman, her parents, and two children, the sheriff said. The man then killed himself.
Investigators found the bodies of six people ranging in age from 9 to 51 when they responded Tuesday to a call from a man who said he was thinking about hurting himself.
Greenwood County Sheriff Tony Davis identified the man who fired the shots as 27-year-old Bryan Sweatt. Davis said Sweatt felt that the woman he had dated wasn’t allowing him to see their infant child often enough. The infant was not among the dead.
Investigators believe Sweatt broke into the home and waited for the victims to return, Davis said, adding that the shootings looked like executions.
The victims were Richard Fields, 51; his wife, Melissa, 49; their daughter Chandra, 26; and two of the couple’s grandchildren who lived with them: William Robinson, 9, and Tariq Robinson, 11.
SWAT team members who entered the house found the bodies in three rooms.
‘‘Once you see a grisly scene like this it never leaves you,’’ Davis said.
Sweatt has a lengthy arrest record that dates back nearly a decade, according to State Police records. Most of his charges were related to property crimes, although he was arrested once on aggravated assault charges.
Officers first went to the home in Greenwood County after receiving a call from a man who said he was thinking about hurting himself, authorities said. Davis said while police were on their way, a neighbor called 911 saying four children from that address had arrived at her house and told her a shot had been fired.