Aschod Ewing-Meeks of Davie County, NC, allegedly shot his girlfriend, Ashton Brown, and two daughters to death on April 18 before setting their house on fire
Ewing-Meeks, 26, set the family house on fire before, turning the gun on himself, police said
Ewing-Meeks, with Brown, also 26, and their daughters, Bella, 8, and 8-month-old Brixtyn, visited the sheriff’s office hours before the fatal tragedy, looking to speak with a deputy
After they were sent away, a deputy had several short phone calls with the family over the course of 30 minutes. Ewing-Meeks claimed he was being followed
The deputy ultimately lost contact with the family
Their bodies were discovered about two hours later as firefighters battled a blaze reported at their home
Deputies found the four bodies in the ruins, all dead from gunshot injuries
Ewing-Meeks who had self-inflicted gunshot injuries still had the murder weapon in his hand
Firefighters said the fire was ‘intentional’
An entire North Carolina family was wiped out in a case of domestic murder-suicide and arson, just hours after they visited their local sheriff’s office hours. The 26-year-old father fatally shot his girlfriend and two children, later setting their home on fire and killing himself in an apparent triple homicide-suicide.
Investigators believe Aschod Ewing-Meeks killed his family last week in what Davie County Sheriff JD Hartman referred to as ‘one of the worst, if not the worst’ case he had ever witnessed.
He allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend, Ashton Brown, 26, and their two children Bella, 4, and Brixtyn, 8 months. He set their Davie County home on fire before shooting himself.
About two hours before the tragedy Ewing-Meeks, Brown and the kids were captured on surveillance video speaking with a receptionist at the Davie County Sheriff’s Office.
Officials told WGHP the family was vague about what they wanted but had requested to speak with a deputy.
The family made several attempts to speak with authorities before their deaths.
Investigators believe Aschod Ewing-Meeks0 shot dead his girlfriend and daughters and set fire to their family home before turning the gun on himself, shortly after video recordings from the sheriff’s office shows the family walking into the sheriff’s office around 12:10 p.m. on April 18. They wanted to to speak with a deputy.
The receptionist asked for the family’s information and then gave them a phone number of someone to contact within the department. They reportedly left the premises around 12:15 p.m.
People Magazine quoting Sheriff Hartman from Wednesday’s press conference states that ‘There was nothing out of the ordinary. They really wouldn’t interact with the receptionist or tell her what they wanted,’ Hartman said of the visit.
Brown called 911 again, at 12:35 p.m. She asked to speak with a deputy.
She said the family had ‘safety concerns’ but reportedly did not specify what their concerns were.
The family’s third contact with law enforcement occurred eleven minutes later, when a deputy returned Brown’s call. She reportedly, answered the phone and told officials she had been calling on behalf of Ewing-Meeks.
Brown passed the phone to Ewing-Meeks, but the call ended after 30 seconds. It is unclear if signal was dropped or if someone hung up.
The deputy called Brown’s phone three more times.
After the initial conversation, each call thereafter was answered by Aschod. Each call lasted anywhere from 55 seconds to six minutes. And every call was dropped or ended, Hartman said.
“He advised with the officer that he thought that someone was following him, but he wasn’t in danger, they weren’t threatening him,” said Hartman.
During the calls, Ewing-Meeks refused to give the deputy his specific location or return to the sheriff’s office to meet the officers. ‘He advised with the officer that he thought that someone was following him, but he wasn’t in danger, they weren’t threatening him,’ said Hartman.
‘The officer attempted to get them to come back to the sheriff’s office. They were driving around; they wouldn’t tell the officer where they were.’
After the call, the deputy made two more attempts to reach Ewing-Meeks, shortly after 1 p.m., but the phone went to voicemail. Officials were ultimately unable to reach the family.
Ewing-Meeks and Brown were last seen around 2 p.m. arguing in the front yard of their home, witnesses told police.
A few minutes later smoke was seen coming out of the house.
Firefighters responded to the property 15 minutes later and discovered the victims’ bodies as they worked the fire.
The two children were found in the kitchen and Brown in the doorway of a bedroom. Police say Ewing-Meeks was found at the end of a hallway, near the kitchen, holding the gun which matched the murder weapon.
Preliminary on-scene investigation revealed the fire had been intentionally set, however authorities have not stated how or where it originated.
‘All four victims are deceased from gunshot wounds,’ Hartman told reporters. ‘The fire was intentionally set. Mr. Meeks was deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and we found the gun that matches all of this actually still in Mr. Meeks’ hand.’
Investigators collected and removed evidence from the home as they continue to probe the incident.
‘I’ve seen a lot in 30 years, but children – and especially children that are killed by gunshots and burned – it’s pretty heinous, so it’s pretty close to the worst, if not the worst,’ the sheriff added.
A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help cover the funeral expenses and honor the mother and her young children has raised more than $19,000, surpassing the $5,000 goal.
Brown’s loved ones say she was an early childhood educator and well-loved throughout the community.
‘She loved her students and went the extra mile to make sure they were cared for as her own,’ the fundraising page states. ‘Ashton lived to be the best mother she could be for her two children, Bella and Brixytn. We are saddened by this sudden tragedy and wish to honor and remember them as such.’