Carencro police officers believe the 18-year-old victim injured in a domestic violence murder-suicide may have saved his younger siblings.

The shooting happened at a home on Meadowvale Drive on Monday evening. Police responded to a report of a domestic disturbance around 7 p.m. and were met at the home’s door by three children, ages 14, 12 and 11. The 14-year-old child told police what occurred between her parents, a statement from Carencro Police Chief David Anderson said.

The Lafayette Parish Coroner’s Office confirmed James Manley, 40, and Faith Manley, 38, died in the incident, with James Manley shooting his wife before turning the gun on himself, according to preliminary autopsy findings.

Anderson said in a phone interview Wednesday officers believe the couple’s 18-year-old son, who was shot in the back during the incident, may have protected his younger siblings, who were able to hide in a bedroom during the incident and were physically uninjured.

“We have reason to believe that he’s the one that saved their lives,” the chief said.

The 18-year-old has since been released from the hospital and is in good condition while recovering with his siblings, who were taken in by family members, Anderson said.

The department has not released full details in the case because of continuing investigation, he said.

Local churches where Faith Manley was a member, friends and family members have begun to post tributes to her online while also drawing awareness to a GoFundMe established to cover funeral expenses and needs for her four surviving children.

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Court filings in the 15th Judicial District Court show Faith Manley received a protective order against her husband Sept. 17 that was valid for one year. The order states James Manley was barred from going within 100 yards of his wife, their children, the Meadowvale Drive residence and Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center, where Faith Manley worked as a respiratory therapist. 

He was also barred from possessing a firearm and was ordered to turn over any weapons to law enforcement.

In the restraining order petition, Faith Manley wrote that a divorce with her husband was pending. In the petition, he’s listed as living at an address in Palmetto. On one occasion, Faith Manley wrote that her husband sent her photos of a noose he hung in the Palmetto home.

The 38-year-old said he would also monitor her and the children, taking photos and videos of them every day. She wrote their children “are afraid he will come while I am at work and try to take them.”

She said in August he barged into her bathroom while she bathed, grabbed her face and accused her of seeing someone else while shouting vulgar things and issuing threats. He continued to force his way into the room as she tried to lock him out, she wrote. On other occasions, James Manley would come to the house and shout to be let inside after Faith Manley said she changed the home’s alarm code, she said. She described him as “unpredictable.”

The respiratory therapist said her estranged husband had previously admitted to drug use.

Faith Manley also wrote that her husband was on parole for setting fire to their home while the family was inside when they lived in Avoyelles Parish. A staff member with the Avoyelles Parish Clerk of Court confirmed James Earl Manley pleaded guilty to a charge of simple arson in November 2017. The arson itself occurred in August 2016, court records said.

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