Police found Paiden Nicole Priest and her son, Grayson Alexander Beckham, dead in their house in Van Buren, Arkansas, on Sunday
The heavily pregnant nurse, 23, and her two-year-old son are shot dead by her husband before he turns gun on himself in murder-suicide, police said
Paiden’s husband, David Wayne Priest, also suffered from a gunshot wound, but was sole survivor when police arrived
He later succumbed to his wounds at a local hospital
Police believe Priest killed his wife Paiden and step-son Grayson in a murder-suicide, following a verbal dispute
Paiden was in her third trimester of pregnancy, and had recently celebrated her baby shower for her unborn son, Elijah
A 23-year-old nurse from Arkansas, in her third trimester of pregnancy and her toddler son have been shot and killed by her husband in an apparent double murder-suicide, after she and her husband got into a verbal argument, police said.
Police found Paiden Nicole Priest, her son, Grayson Alexander Beckham, and her husband, David Wayne Priest, with gunshot wounds when they arrived at their house in Van Buren, near Fort Smith, Arkansas, on Sunday.
David, an electrician, was the only one still alive, but he later succumbed to his wounds at a local hospital.
‘This is one of the worst cases we’ve ever had to deal with,’ Police Sgt. Jonathan Wear said in a televised press conference following the shooting. ‘But we do believe that this was done by David Priest.’
David was Grayson’s step-father, the police report.
He and Paiden were engaged in June and married in August, according to their public Facebook profiles.
On April 15, David Priest changed his profile picture to an image of him kissing Paiden’s pregnant belly with the caption ‘My gorgeous and all-around amazing wife no matter what.’
It is unclear what the motive was for the shooting, Wear said.
The shooting happened on the 2000 block of Williams Street. A neighbor called 911 at 12:41 a.m. and reported that bullets were shot through the wall of their duplex and that one bullet hit his headboard, right above where he and his wife were sleeping.
When officers arrived, they found David, Paiden and Grayson inside their home, all with gunshot wounds.
According to police, David was the only person still alive.
He was transported to a local hospital and later died from his injuries.
The neighbor had reported hearing an argument before the gunshots went off.
The neighbor told police he was sleeping in bed with his wife and woke up to find a bullet hole in the headboard right above their heads.
‘Me and my wife were sleeping and we heard a gunshot,’ the neighbor reported. ‘Then it happened again and we turned our light on and it looked like a gunshot came through our room from the drywall next door.’
Police were able to recover a handgun from the scene, they said, and have obtained a search warrant to collect further evidence in an attempt to ‘piece together what happened,’ according to local news station 4029 Ne
David Priest, his wife Paiden Priest and her two-year-old son were found dead inside their homes in Van Buren, Arkansas
Authorities now believe David is the one who shot his wife and step-son in an apparent double murder-suicide.
David, Paiden and Grayson’s bodies have been sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock for autopsies
Friends and family have since paid tribute to Paiden and Grayson, and her unborn son, Elijah, on Facebook.
She had celebrated her baby shower the week before.
Allie Price, who identified herself as Paiden’s cousin, posted a photo montage she made of Paiden and Grayson, writing, ‘RIP to my beautiful cousin and her sweet babies.’
‘I know you and your sweet boys are up there dancing.’
Deann Steele, Paiden’s mother-in-law, also wrote a tribute, identifying Paiden as her ‘only daughter-in-law.’
‘I wish I could trade places with you all,’ she wrote on Paiden’s Facebook, ‘my life doesn’t feel the same.’