Sunday, April 5, 2009


The home where the bodies of five children were discovered on Saturday is shown Sunday, April 5, 2009, at a trailer park near near Graham, Wash. Pierce County Sheriff's officials said they believe the children's father killed the children before committing suicide. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

AP / April 4, 2009 / A home is ringed with police tape at trailer park near near Graham, Washington

A message is shown in a notebook at a memorial Sunday, April 5, 2009, in front of a home where five children were discovered killed on Saturday, at a trailer park near near Graham, Wash. Pierce County Sheriff's officials said they believe the children's father killed the children before committing suicide. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Police Believe Man Killed 5 Kids Due to Marital Dispute
Sunday, April 05, 2009 /ASSOCIATED PRESS

GRAHAM, Wash. — Investigators believe a man fatally shot his five children in their home and killed himself after he found out his wife was leaving him for another man, a sheriff's spokesman said Sunday.

The bodies of James Harrison's children were found Saturday in the family's mobile home in Graham, about 15 southeast of Tacoma. Harrison had been found earlier in the day, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot, behind the wheel of his car in Auburn, about 18 miles north of Graham.

Authorities haven't released the family's name, but relatives have identified them as the Harrisons.

The man and his 16-year-old daughter had found his wife with another man at a store in Auburn on Friday night, Pierce County Sheriff spokesman Ed Troyer told The News Tribune of Tacoma.

Ryan Peden, the daughter's classmate, had said she told him Friday night that her parents had gotten into a fight and her mother had left. The father followed the mother and tried to get her to return, said Peden.

Troyer said the woman told her husband she was not going home and that she was leaving him for the man with her at the store.

"He was devastated," Troyer said.

Investigators believe the father later killed his children and returned to the area near the store looking for his wife. His body was found near the store, Troyer said. He left no suicide note.

Troyer did not immediately return calls from The Associated Press, but sent an e-mail confirming his account to The News Tribune.

Four of the children were shot in their beds and the fifth was shot in the bathroom, Pierce County deputies said. Auburn Police Sgt. Scott Near said their father had apparently killed himself with a rifle.



Anonymous said...

I'm so tired of these morons... These evil little cowards who just don't "get it"! Why couldn't that walking piece of crap have just killed himself rather than taking out his five innocent children? Why? Because he was an evil, stupid little coward that's why. There are too many sociopaths amongst us, individuals who see other people as mere objects. That's what this idiot obviously thought. So your wife left you? Big deal! It's the children that matter! Always. Somehow people in general need to weed these people out. Let them know that their disregard for others cannot be tolerated. "Keeping to yourself" is not enough anymore. Yes, neighbors need to get involved; the community needs to get involved to keep children safe. These abysmally sick individuals are ready to commit their atrocities at a moments notice for any little tantrum they decide to have. Something needs to be done, this kind of story is proliferating too rapidly. There are too many insensate, self-centered cowards out there. They are worse than animals.

FairestWitness said...

Speaking as one of 5 children whose mother left her father and all 5 kids for a much younger man, I have to say I understand this husband and father's despair. I can still remember clearly my own father sobbing like a baby with arms up against a kitchen cabinet after my mother left him. He threatened to kill every last one of us before she'd get custody. It was just talk, of course. My father raised all us as best he could. We were ages 2, 4, 6, 7 and 8 when my mother split. The year was 1964.

The mother of the dead Harrison family has a lot to answer for. You don't abandon your family. That mother's selfishness is responsible for setting this tragedy in motion.

And the shame on the other man, too. He has no business messing around with the wife of another man and the mother of 5 kids.

CHOMP said...

Mr. Anonymous, could you just make up a name? I think you have been on my blog before, but anyone can come on as "Anonymous."

It's difficult to keep kids safe...and just as difficult to keep adults safe if someone wants to hurt you.

Many of these cases are people who have disappeared. I always put up an information hotline for those cases.

FairestWitness...Thank you for some insight from someone who has "been there." Marital problems is often the catalyst for hurting the children. I am sorry that you had to endure the pain of a broken family. In the end it sounds like Dad tried his best.

FairestWitness said...

Thanks, Chomp. Yes my dad did his best, even if it was imperfect at best. My mother was very selfish & irresponsible. I still don't understand how she could have made the choices she did. My father was no prize as a husband, although he was a decent provider. He was not a very nice man and my mother needed something from a husband he couldn't give. They were incompatible, really. But my mother should have sucked it up and put her children first. She failed us all and was miserable for that decision until the day she died.

Mom on a Mission said...

Fairest Witness: Ultimately the father pulled the trigger FIVE times on his own children. Although their mother may have left, you have no idea why. Obviously the father had issues. Normal people don't just kill their children because they are sad. Blaming the mother for the deaths of her children is cruel and irresponsible. Get it right: the full blame rests with the bastard who shot his babies.

Anonymous said...

I live 10 homes down from this...and the mother and father had issues...but the father was always the crazy one.I remember driving by as the fire men who discovered the bodies were walking out. They looked traumatized. Wasn't until a few hours later someone.called me and told me at work what had happened. So sad. Such nice kids too.....RIP. not one family that has moves into that house has stayed more than a few months.