Man in legal trouble kills girlfriend, her parents, 2 kids, police say
GREENWOOD, S.C. — Bryan Sweatt was in the middle of a custody fight with his girlfriend over their 7-month-old daughter and had been charged with a burglary could that could have put him in jail for years.
His girlfriend's father had warned him to stay away from his house and the dirt track Sweatt had built in the backyard for his all-terrain vehicles.
On Tuesday afternoon, Sweatt broke into the parents' house and waited for them and the girlfriend to come home, police said. When they did, Sweatt fatally shot his girlfriend, her parents and two children living there, before turning the gun on himself, Greenwood County Sheriff Tony Davis said.
“Once you see a horrific scene like this, it never leaves you. It's with you day in and day out,” he said.
The victims were identified as Richard Fields, 51; his wife, Melissa Fields, 49; their daughter, Chandra Fields, 26; and two of the couple's grandchildren who lived with them, William Robinson, 9, and Tariq Robinson, 11.
Davis didn't specify a motive for the shootings but said it appears they stemmed from a “domestic violence situation.”
He said Sweatt felt that Chandra Fields wasn't allowing him to see their infant child often enough. The girl was not among the dead.
He said Sweatt called 911 while he was in the Fields' house, stating that he was on the edge and contemplating suicide before hanging up.
It's unclear how many — if any — victims were shot before he made the call at 5:54 p.m. Tuesday.
A police report said a dispatcher heard a woman in the background say, “Do not point that at me” before the call was disconnected.
Sweatt allowed four children to escape — his 7-month-old daughter, the infant's cousin and two neighborhood children who came to the door after school to play with the Fields' grandchildren.