Investigators Look For Possible Motive In Henderson Co. Triple Homicide - WRBL

Investigators Look For Possible Motive In Henderson Co. Triple Homicide

Posted: Updated: May 9, 2013 05:25 AM EDT
Ralph Robert Warren, III Ralph Robert Warren, III

Update: Thursday, May 9, 2012

"Bang, bang, bang, and I heard again, bang, bang, bang," recalls Maria Miranda.

Miranda was one of several people who called 911 after she heard gun shots ring out in her quiet neighborhood Wednesday.

"I think it was about 20 rounds."

Miranda didn't only hear what happened in the yard of a home at 297 Piney Ridge Drive, she watched helplessly from across the street.

"I was so afraid that he was going to turn his face to me because I was standing right here, when he shot the last bullets," says Miranda.

Deputies from the Henderson County Sheriff's Office returned to the crime scene Thursday where they say Ralph Robert Warren III killed his estranged wife and her parents.

According to investigators, Warren used a high-powered assault rifle which they believe he also planned to use on law enforcement.

"There were multiple crime scenes and multiple victims at one location," says Capt. Frank Stout. "We were unsure where the shooter was or his condition."

Deputies located Warren two-and-a-half hours after the initial shooting. Investigators say his location gave him tactical advantage over deputies.

"Officers heard one shot, so we were not sure what we were dealing with," Stout adds.

Warren was found dead from a self-inflicted gun shot wound.

Investigators were hoping Thursday they would discover some information that would lead them to a possible motive.

Warren's mother gave investigators permission to search her home and her son's bedroom.

Stout says investigators didn't uncover anything that would indicate why the shooting would occur.

Neighbors reported the couple had been arguing in the days leading up to the shooting.

The couple had two young children together.

"They were good people, they were good neighbors," Miranda said.

While deputies say they were familiar with Warren, they never reported to calls of domestic abuses.

A background check shows Warren had several charges related to traffic violations, making harassing phone calls, and failure to appear in court.

The only criminal charge related to his estranged wife was a felony assault charge from 2005, but Warren pled guilty to a reduced charge.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Henderson County Sheriff's Office said a man suspected of killing his estranged wife and her parents took his own life. 

Deputies said they found 30-year-old Carrie Warren, 49-year-old Theresa Tracy, and 51-year-old Richard Tracy dead outside a home on Piney Ridge Drive on Wednesday around 5:30 p.m.

Then they put area neighborhoods on lock down while they searched for a car matching the description of one seen leaving the scene after the shooting.  Deputies found Robert Warren III dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound near the intersection of Jackson and Howard Gap Roads in Fletcher a short time later.

Children were inside the home at the time of the shooting, but were not hurt.

Our coverage partners at the Hendersonville Times-News caught up with 84-year-old Mae Franklin who witnessed the shooting.  Franklin lives just a few homes away from where it took place.  She says a car pulled up and fired several shots.

"The people were out in the yard – a man and his wife and their daughter, and it was a sports car," she told the Times-News.  "He pulled up and got out and bang, bang, bang.  He said, ‘Do you want some more?' and he shot three or four more times."

The newspaper says Warren was supposed to appear in court next month on charges of making harassing calls and communicating threats.

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