Reuters

Douglasville, Ga. – A child screamed “Daddy, please don’t,” as shots rang out this weekend in a quiet, suburban street in Atlanta, Georgia, where a man killed his ex-wife, her boyfriend and two children before turning the gun on himself, authorities said on Monday.

Sheriff’s officials released new details about the rampage on Saturday, which left two other children in critical condition at an Atlanta area hospital.

Right up until the shooting, the gunman, 33-year-old Cedric Prather, had been talking on a cell phone with a friend, who was trying to persuade him not to confront his ex-wife, detectives said.

He was upset about taxes and child support issues, Captain Bruce Ferguson, lead investigator at the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, said during a news conference on Monday.

Prather had no criminal history, and it was not known if mental illness was a factor, authorities said.

“We have no idea why he did this, except that he just snapped, he lost it,” Ferguson said.

He said Prather parked about a quarter mile (0.4 km) from his ex-wife Latoya Andrews’ home near Douglasville, about 20 miles (32 km) west of Atlanta.

Prather brought a .45 caliber pistol and at least one extra ammunition magazine to the neighborhood of two-car garages, tidy lawns and pickup ball games.

He confronted Andrews, 33, and her boyfriend in the house for several minutes before the shooting started.

Sheriff’s officials hadn’t counted all the shots yet, but Prather reloaded once, Ferguson said.

One child was shot inside the house, and three were shot outside, authorities said. Among the dead children were two of the gunman’s own – London Prather, 7, and Jeremiah Prather, 9.

Prather also shot dead their mother, Andrews, and her new boyfriend, Joseph Terry Brown, 33.

Two other children were critically wounded in the incident, which ended when Prather took his own life. Authorities identified them as Andrews’ child Demesha Owens, 15, and Jada Brown, 8, her boyfriend’s daughter.

Authorities didn’t give further details about the medical condition of the injured children, whom they have yet to interview.

The 15-year-old has been in and out of consciousness and talking a little, Ferguson said.

A 13-year-old boy, also a child of the shooter and his ex-wife, was at a basketball game during the time of the attack. He is now staying with family members.

“If he was home, I know we’d have another victim,” Ferguson said.

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