Shawn Fuller admitted to shooting his young boys and said he was prepared to kill law enforcement officers, according to a report released Monday by the Iredell County Sheriff’s Department.
Fuller was on the phone with an unidentified person when he made the confession, the report said.
But by the time deputies arrived at Fuller’s home in the 100 block of Trent Road in Statesville, a confrontation was no longer a threat. Fuller was already critically injured with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Deputies found him outside of his front door. They also found a weapon that had been hidden in the house by Fuller’s wife and likely was used to fire on his sons, according to the report.
The bodies of Uriah Fuller, 4, and his brother Josiah Fuller, 3, lay inside the house. They suffered multiple gunshot wounds, Sheriff Darren Campbell said in Monday’s report. Fuller is in critical condition at Carolinas Medical Center.
If he survives his injuries, the man who is seen smiling broadly with his family in pictures posted on Facebook will be charged with two counts of murder.
The children’s mother, Fuller’s wife, was assaulted prior to leaving the house and calling 911, Campbell’s report Monday said. Her name has not been released. It is not clear whether the children had been harmed before she left the house.
“It appears at this time that the actual shooting took place prior to the first 911 call to Iredell Communications,” Campbell wrote in Monday’s report.
The sheriff’s office received a call at 3:37 a.m. Sunday about a domestic incident. The initial report on Sunday said a male caller reported the incident.
The caller said a man at the home was firing a gun and was intoxicated, according to Sunday’s report. The report on Monday said a “witness” was “on the phone with the suspect at the time of the shooting.”
Fuller told the person on the other end of the phone that “he had killed his kids, and would kill law enforcement,” the report said. The person who heard Fuller’s confession has been interviewed, Monday’s report said.
A neighbor told the Observer Fuller’s younger adult brother also lived in the home.
The neighbor, Ronnie Patterson, identified the man living next door as Shawn Fuller. Fuller’s Facebook page says he’s from Cooperstown, N.Y.
Fuller had been living in North Carolina for approximately three or four years, according to Campbell’s report on Monday.
The family had moved to Trent Road several months ago, around Christmas, according to Patterson. A second neighbor gave a similar timeline.
Patterson had not known Fuller and his wife to argue. Patterson’s grandson, who is 7, sometimes played with Fuller’s two boys, he said.
“They were good kids,” Patterson said.
While only one gun was found in the home, Fuller and others frequently fired guns in the backyard, Patterson and another neighbor said.
Patterson said Fuller had high-powered rifles as well as handguns. He said Fuller and others shot at targets such as milk jugs and cans and that several trees in the yard were damaged from the shooting.
A picture on Fuller’s Facebook page showed a paper target shooting sheet with a human silhouette.
Sometimes Fuller drank alcohol while shooting, and sometimes the children or others were there while the shooting took place, Patterson said.
Patterson said the shooting next door was so common and disturbing that his girlfriend had moved out of the house. A neighbor who has lived across the street since 1976 also complained about the shooting. She declined to give her name.
“There were a lot of cars in and out all the time,” the woman said. “You would think at times there was a firing range down there.”
On the occasions when they had talked, Fuller often seemed paranoid and behaved as if he was “scared of everything,” Patterson said. Fuller also worried that someone was trying to break into his home, Patterson said.
On Saturday, Patterson drove into his driveway around 12:30 p.m., and Fuller was in the backyard, shooting. He said the shooting continued all day Saturday and into the night.
At one point, Fuller invited Patterson’s adult son over to have a drink by the campfire in the backyard as the shooting continued. Patterson said his son was in his car and was leaving home when Fuller knocked on his car window to invite him over. Patterson said his son declined Fuller’s invitation.
On at least one occasion, Fuller told Patterson that he thought someone was trying to break into his home.
Once, he told Patterson that he saw someone run into the woods and pointed to an area behind the mobile home where he lived with his family. Fuller asked Patterson if he could see the person in the woods. Patterson said he did not see anything or anyone suspicious as they stood outside talking.
Patterson said he was surprised that Fuller was so uneasy and concerned about intruders. Until Fuller moved in, it was a quiet neighborhood where you didn’t have to worry about your belongings or your safety, Patterson said.