GBI calls three Byromville deaths a murder/suicide

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BYROMVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is calling the shooting deaths of three people in Byromville a murder/suicide.

Willie James Merrell, known as ‘Shine Bone,’ is the man investigators say shot and killed his neighbor, 47-year-old Priscilla Adams and 17-month-old Jashun Ingram.

The GBI announced the findings Monday afternoon at a news conference, saying Merrell used a long rifle to murder Adams and Ingram in the early morning hours of January 25. Merrell then went across the street behind his home and shot himself in the torso with the same rifle, according to the GBI. The gun was found within arms length of Merrell’s body.

“Beyond a reasonable doubt we know the shell casings match up through the firearms evidence but then through DNA analysis we know Merrell’s DNA was on that rifle,” GBI Special Agent in Charge, J.T. Ricketson said.

Adams’ 17-year-old daughter was also shot that morning, but survived and has since been released from the hospital. The GBI does not have a motive for why Merrell shot them.

“She did give us some information,” Ricketson said. “The ‘why’ is what we would really like to know here and sometimes we get it and sometimes we don’t.”

Byromville, which is a town of about 500 people held a candlelight vigil for Adams, Ingram and Merrell last week.