Authorities claimed the 14-year-old confessed to fatally shooting his 17-year-old older brother, and said they discovered the Alabama teen’s “hit list” after another student he had confided in came forward.
A 14-year-old teen from Alabama, who has been accused of murdering his older brother, had a “hit list” of other targets and plans for a high school shooting, according to the Pike County Sheriff’s Office.
As reported by local CBS affiliate WAKA 8 on Wednesday, authorities claim the boy confessed to fatally shooting his 17-year-old brother at their Monticello home after the body of the older brother — who had been missing since Monday — was discovered on the property. After searching the family’s residence, Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas said authorities also found a “hit list” in the 14-year-old’s backpack that revealed the other family members he also allegedly intended to kill.
“We learned through a friend of his that he had actually had a hit list to kill his family members — a detailed list of who, where, how, whether [it] would be easy or difficult,” Sheriff Thomas told WAKA 8. “We went and searched the residence and his book bag, and did, in fact, find the hit list, and that he intended also to shoot up the school, which is Pike County High School.”
Thomas later added, “He had already proved that he would kill, and we were very, very fortunate — and blessed — that he didn’t carry out his plans, and that we were able to intervene and stop all of this.”
Authorities said the younger brother — who was not identified by law enforcement — is currently in custody.
The sheriff — who interviewed the teen — said after the boy allegedly shot his brother inside the house, the 17-year-old brother “staggered outside” [and] “fell to the ground,” before the 14-year-old “dragged [the body] about 60 yards around to the edge of the property,” and then “returned to the house and cleaned.”
According to Pike County Sheriff’s Office, per NBC News and WAKA 8, the investigation began on Tuesday after the school called the boys’ father as the younger brother was “upset” that his older brother was missing. After searching for the 17-year-old at home, the father discovered the victim’s body at the back of the property.
During a WSFA 12 press conference on Wednesday, Sheriff Thomas said a friend of the 14-year-old — whom the student had confided in — was in the middle of taking a test and “was so bothered” by what his friend had told him that he “reported it to the teacher, who then relayed the information on to the administration.”
Pike County District Attorney James Tarbox — who was also present at the press conference — applauded the boy’s friend for coming forward and telling his teacher. Tarbox added that because the student spoke up, “we may have additional deaths on our hands here in Pike County at the hands of this 14-year-old that’s now in custody.”
According to a press release written by Pike County Board of Education Superintendent Dr. Mark Bazzell on Wednesday, “Students made Pike County High School faculty aware of disturbing and threatening statements made by a fellow student. Following the school system threat assessment protocol, these threats were relayed to the school administration, and the student was immediately removed from the school.”
“Subsequently, this student has been arrested in connection with the death of a family member at home occurring Monday, October 2, 2023,” Bazzell added. “The school system is cooperating with local law enforcement in this on-going investigation.
The superintendent noted that “there is no evidence of a threat to any Pike County School System campuses,” however, “out of an abundance of caution, the Pike County School System has requested an increased law enforcement presence on the Brundidge campuses.”
“The Pike County School System would like to express its deepest condolences to the family and friends impacted by this tragic event,” he concluded.