A 21-year-old man suspected of killing his parents and three other people was arrested when he drove up with a gun to his grandmother’s house in Virginia on Sunday, a sheriff said.
Dakota Theriot shot and killed three people – the woman believed to be his girlfriend, her brother and father – in Livingston Parish, Louisiana, before taking her father’s truck, driving to neighbouring Ascension Parish and shooting his parents, according to authorities.
At a trailer where the parents lived, drops of blood trailed out to the front steps from the bedroom where Keith and Elizabeth Theriot were shot.
In the bedroom, blood soaked pillows were strewn on the bed and patches of what appeared to be dried blood were on the floor.
Dozens of stuffed animals decorated the room.
Kim Mincks and Jacob Chastant also lived in the trailer and were friends with the Theriots.
Ms Mincks was in the house at the opposite end of the trailer when the shooting happened but did not hear anything.
Law enforcement officers came into her room on Saturday morning and woke her.
“They said something terrible happened here, ‘get up, get dressed and walk outside’,” she recalled them saying.
Ms Mincks and Mr Chastant said Theriot had struggled with drugs over the years, had violent outbursts and had recently been kicked out of the trailer.
“We know he had a drug problem,” she said.
“He got kicked out last Monday because of the drug problem. His dad kicked him out of here. He did have a violent streak.”
Theriot’s grandmother in Warsaw, Virginia, had checked into a hotel on Saturday night, fearing he might show up there, Richmond County Sheriff Stephan B Smith said in a phone interview.
The woman asked authorities to check her house on Sunday morning to make sure it was safe before she returned.
While deputies were there, Mr Smith said, Theriot drove up with a firearm pointed out the window of a pickup truck.
A sheriff’s statement said deputies sought cover and challenged Theriot, who then dropped the gun and was arrested without incident.
He said the pickup Theriot drove to his grandmother’s house was apparently the one taken in Louisiana.
Theriot will be brought back to Ascension Parish to be booked on two counts of first-degree murder, home invasion and illegal use of weapons, a statement by Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre and Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard said.
Authorities have identified the victims in Livingston Parish as Billy Ernest, 43; Tanner Ernest, 17, and Summer Ernest, 20.
Mr Ard said Summer and Theriot were in a relationship and he had been living with her family for a few weeks.
Authorities said earlier that Keith Theriot survived the shooting long enough to let them know who shot him.
According to Mr Webre, officials got a “dying declaration from him, and only enough information to let us know that it was his son that committed this act”.