MONTGOMERY, Ala., July 16, 2007 -- WSFA 12 broke the news early Monday morning of an apparent murder-suicide in West Montgomery.
Police have now identified the father as Eric Robinson, age 42, of Birdwood Drive. He was found inside the residence at 635 Iris Lane according to police "with a gunshot wound to the head." Robinson was pronounced dead at the scene.
Someone called officers from inside 635 Iris Lane Sunday night, saying the father had shot himself. When police started looking around, they found his three children, ages four, six and 11 inside his car with gunshot wounds to the head.
Neighbors tell WSFA that Robinson forced his 11-year-old son and 6-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter into his car - and drove off. Robinson allegedly shot all three of the children and left them in his car.
Medics arrived on the scene and pronounced the 6-year-old dead but tried to save the two other children. The other two children were taken to the hospital where they later died.
Neighbors are shocked and say they have no idea why Robinson would shoot the children. One saying, "I'm just used to seeing them playing in the yard when I'd pass by going down to a friend's house..."
According to the Montgomery Police Department, Eric Robinson was going through a divorce and the children were with him for a "normal visitation." Robinson and his wife were involved in an "ongoing domestic violence relationship." Alabama court records show the divorce papers had been filed in February, but the divorce was not yet final.
Police go on to say that a series of domestic violence reports were filed and protection orders had been issued. Court records show last December, Robinson apparently threatened his wife, prompting her to ask for a protection order.
"The Montgomery Police Department was notified of the domestic violence situation on Sunday afternoon and as soon as the wife signed a warrant on Robinson for Violation of a Protection Order the Montgomery Police Department began actively looking for Robinson. This involved multiple attempts to locate him at his residence."
Police are investigating the incident as a murder-suicide.
During an interview with WSFA 12 News on Monday, Brenda Robinson, the children's mother identifed the victims as 4-year-old Ereal Robinson, 6-year-old Ehren Robinson, and 11-year-old Evin Robinson.
Release from Montgomery Public Schools
Montgomery Public Schools Superintendent John Dilworth announced today that Seth Johnson Elementary School and Davis Elementary School will be open to provide counseling services for students and their families who were affected by the tragic deaths of three area children. "All of our hearts are heavy today because of the loss of three precious children," said Superintendent Dilworth. "We join the community in offering our condolences and prayers to the family and friends of these young people. I have asked our counseling staff to provide services to community members coping with this tragedy and hope that it may assist in some small way in the healing process."
Counselors will be available Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Seth Johnson Elementary School and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Davis Elementary School.