Police say Mississippi gunman kills 8

Officers arrest suspect Willie Corey Godbolt on Sunday, following several fatal shootings Saturday in Lincoln County, Miss., officials said. (AP photo)

By KEVIN McGILL

Associated Press

BROOKHAVEN, Miss. — A man who got into an argument with his estranged wife and her family over his children was arrested Sunday in a house-to-house shooting rampage in rural Mississippi that left eight people dead, including his mother-in-law and a sheriff’s deputy.

“I ain’t fit to live, not after what I done,” a handcuffed Willie Corey Godbolt, 35, told The Clarion-Ledger.

The gunfire erupted Saturday night at Godbolt’s in-laws’ home in Bogue Chitto after the deputy arrived in response to a domestic disturbance call, and spread to two houses in nearby Brookhaven, about 70 miles south of Jackson.

The dead included two boys, investigators said. Godbolt was hospitalized in good condition with a gunshot wound, though it wasn’t clear who shot him.

Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain said that prosecutors planned to charge Godbolt with murder but that it was too soon to say what the motive was. Authorities gave no details on his relationship to the victims.

However, a witness and Godbolt himself shed some light on what happened, with Godbolt giving an interview to the newspaper as he sat with his hands cuffed behind his back on the side of a road.

Godbolt said he was talking with his wife and in-laws when somebody called authorities.

“I was having a conversation with her stepdaddy and her mama and her, my wife, about me taking my children home,” he said. “Somebody called the officer, people that didn’t even live at the house. That’s what they do. They intervene.”

“They cost him his life,” he said, apparently referring to the deputy. “I’m sorry.”

The stepfather-in-law, Vincent Mitchell, told The Associated Press that Godbolt’s wife and their two children had been staying at his Bogue Chitto home for about three weeks after she left her husband because of domestic violence.

When the sheriff’s deputy arrived at the house, Godbolt looked as if he were about to leave, then reached into his back pocket, pulled a gun and opened fire, Mitchell said.

Mitchell said he escaped along with Godbolt’s wife. But he said three family members were killed in his home: his wife, her sister and one of the wife’s daughters.

“I’m devastated. It don’t seem like it’s real,” Mitchell said outside his yellow frame house, in a community of modest houses, trailer homes and small churches set among thick woods.

After fleeing his in-laws’ house, Godbolt killed four more people at two other homes, authorities said.