Alabama 14-Year-Old Admits To Murdering Parents And Siblings

Photo: LinkedIn/Hunstville Schools
Who Are John And Mary Sisk? New Details On The Parents And Siblings Killed By Alabama Teenager

The tiny town of Elkmont, Alabama is reeling after the murder of five members of a single family. Even more shocking: the murderer was the eldest son in the family. Police have arrested a 14-year-old boy after he confessed to killing his father, stepmother, and three half-siblings on Monday night. The boy's name hasn't been released because of his age and he is being held at a juvenile detention facility. While police know what he did, the whole community is questioning why he killed John and Mary Sisk and their youngest children. 

Who were John and Mary Sisk? Read all the details. 

1. Late night 911 call

At about 11pm on Labor Day Monday, police responded to call to the Sisk family home. When they arrived, a 14-year-old boy met them in the driveway and told them he had been downstairs when he heard gunfire upstairs, according to NBC.  When police questioned him further, his story didn't add up so they took him to the sheriff's office for further questioning. It was there that he finally confessed to the shootings. Later, he led police to the gun that he had used then discarded by the side of the road near his house. Police said the gun was not legally owned by anyone in the family but would not elaborate. 

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2. Five people dead

When police entered the home, they found five people had been shot including a six-month-old baby. Three of the victims were dead. Two others were in critical condition and were taken to a hospital but died shortly after that. The victims were the teen shooter's family: his father John, stepmother Mary, his six-month-old brother, his five-year-old sister and his six-year-old brother.

The teen called 911 before he confessed.

3. Special education teacher

Mary Sisk was a special ed teacher in Hunstville, Alabama, according to CBS News. On the school website, she wrote: "I have been in education for over 10 years working with students in all walks of life. I am happily married with a great husband and four beautiful children." She had previously worked in the Madison County Schools. The school issued a press release about the loss of one of their teachers, saying: "We are heartbroken to learn of the tragedy involving one of our teachers, Mary Sisk, and her family Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Sisk family and we ask everyone to remember them during this difficult time.” 

Mary was a teacher.

4. Man of many skills

John Sisk worked in a number of fields according to reporting by The Heavy. He was an internet sales manager for Rocket Harley Davidson in Huntsville and also had a cosmetology certification from Paul Mitchell and styled hair. He had some prior arrests on his record, one for burglary and another for armed robbery, which was still working its way through the courts. Friends say, however, that he was trying to turn things around and was focusing more on spirituality and family in recent months. Ron Henson, a friend, said that John enjoyed riding motorcycles in his spare time “John was a bigger than life character,” Henson said. “He was real outgoing."

Sisk had been married previously to the mother of his eldest son, the one who shot him. She died in 2011 but The Heavy notes that the couple was not married at the time and the teen's mother may have been married to someone else. 

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5. Problems at home

Daisy McCarty, who is John Sisk's niece, told NBC that the teen had only recently been told that Mary wasn't his biological mother, though she didn't elaborate on the subject, She also suggested that the teen had been troubled but that it had gone unnoticed. “I think he’s been having problems. That’s what bothers me because they’d seen it but they didn’t do anything about it really," McCarty said. "I think they didn’t talk to him enough to know what was really going on with him."

6. A community in shock

One neighbor told AL.com that the family was considered "good people" and she was shocked about the murders. “It tore us all up,” said Karen Erwin, who recently moved into the neighborhood. "We are just still in shock.”

Mayor Tracy Compton, who lives near the family, told reporters “It's an absolutely terrible thing, and I can't wrap my arms around it. We are as heartbroken as anyone,” he said. “Our heartfelt condolences are extended to the family, the school, the whole community. It's just unimaginable.”

"We are facing a tragedy that we aren't used to in Limestone County," said a statement from the sheriff's office, reports NBC. "This will have a ripple effect among the family, the community and county. It affects us all."

The teenager is in custody at this time and it is unknown if he will be charged as an adult or not. The police have not said anything about a motive in the shooting. 

Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.