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Husband ‘shoots dead his wife, three children and dog, then kills himself’


Husband, 39, ‘shoots dead his wife, their three young kids and the family dog, then kills himself in quadruple murder-suicide’

  • Cops in North Carolina say Michael Ireland, 39, killed his family and their pet pit bull before turning gun on himself 
  • Family were found dead on Friday after a relative requested a welfare check 
  • April Ireland, 26, and her eight-month-old daughter, Carolina, were dead from gunshot wounds in the living room 
  • Couple’s sons, four-year-old Michael and three-year-old Bryson, also were shot 

A North Carolina man with a history of domestic violence shot dead his wife, their three young children and their dog before turning the gun on himself, authorities revealed.

Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes provided details Monday about the deaths of the Ireland family in Vanceboro last week. 

The bodies were discovered on Friday after a relative told authorities that she had been unable to contact the family since Wednesday evening.

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Michael Ireland with his sons

Authorities in North Carolina say Michael Ireland, 39, killed his sons, Michael and Bryson (pictured)

April Ireland

Baby Caroline

He also murdered his wife April (left), and eight-month-old daughter Caroline (right) before turning gun on himself last week 

Family were found dead inside their home near Vanceboro (pictured) on Friday after a relative requested a welfare check

Family were found dead inside their home near Vanceboro (pictured) on Friday after a relative requested a welfare check

‘I am at my son’s house,’ the caller told a 911 dispatcher. ‘I have been trying to reach them. None of them are answering, the car is in the driveway. Something’s wrong, and I need somebody out here to do a wellness check.’ 

When deputies arrived at the home on Kinsaw Court, they saw a body through a partially opened curtain and forced their way into the home, Hughes said. 

They found the body of Michael Ireland, 39, in the master bedroom with a gunshot to the head and a revolver beside his body. The family dog, a pit bull, was dead in the same room.

The bodies of his 26-year-old wife, April Ireland, and eight-month-old daughter Caroline were on a living room couch. 

The couple’s sons, four-year-old Michael and three-year-old Bryson, were on another couch in the living room. All were dead from a single gunshot wound.

Sheriff said Michael shot each of his children, his wife and the family dog once, killing them

He then took his own life in the master bedroom

Sheriff said Michael shot each of his children, his wife and the family dog once, killing them. He then took his own life in the master bedroom

The sheriff said there were no signs of a struggle inside the home.

Hughes said during a press conference on Monday that deputies with decades of experience told him it was one of the most horrific crime scenes they have ever seen. 

Officers who responded to the home are receiving counseling, reported WCTI12

According to incident reports, local law enforcement officials were familiar with the Ireland family from having been called out to their home a half-dozen times between 2015-2017.

Michael Ireland, who had been working on a fishing boat, had a criminal record that included domestic violence charges, counts of assault and communicating a threat.

Michael had a criminal record that included domestic violence charges dating back to 2015

Michael had a criminal record that included domestic violence charges dating back to 2015

April, pictured here during her most recent pregnancy, once wrote that her husband was battling depression and mental illness

April, pictured here during her most recent pregnancy, once wrote that her husband was battling depression and mental illness 

Neighbors reported that Michael and April frequently argued and could be heard yelling at one another, reported New Bern Sun Journal.  

Las August, April launched a GoFundMe campaign seeking donations for her family, writing that her husband was in the hospital from a ‘self-inflicted’ injury, and that ‘he is very sick mentally,’ including with depression. 

Jackie Tripp, April’s mother, said the family were struggling financially, but her daughter went to great lengths to keep her children clothed and fed.

‘My daughter was a brave, intelligent, beautiful person,’ the heartbroken mother said. ‘She loved her kids with everything she had. That’s how I want her remembered.’  



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