Three people were killed and one was injured after a 23-year-old man who struggled with mental illness opened fire on his family and then shot himself in a Greensburg neighborhood Wednesday.

The murder-suicide took place shortly before 1:20 p.m. in the 600 block of Self Road, in the front yard of a light-blue house where one of the victims lived. Family identified the shooter as William Moore. 

Moore began his rampage by shooting his 23-year-old cousin, Vandarius Carter, inside the house, said Moore's cousin Linda Faye Myles. Moore then went outside and gunned down his 44-year-old uncle, Eddie Carter, in the front yard. 

Moore's other uncle, 60-year-old Melvin Lee, said he was sitting on his porch around this time with his nephew, 48-year-old Tyrone Carter, when Moore trained his gun on them and started shooting. 

Lee immediately hit the ground and spread out flat on the porch, but Carter was shot and later died. Moore then turned his gun on himself near the home's mailbox. He died from his injuries. 

Vandarius Carter, who was shot in the house, was injured in the arm and is expected to live. 

Chief Deputy Joe Chaney with the St. Helena Parish Sheriff's Office said his deputies are continuing to investigate the incident, which has been ruled a murder-suicide. 

Virginia Moore, William's mother, said her son suffered from anxiety and depression; he had been hospitalized at mental institutions twice.

It is unclear what exactly led to the shooting. Moore lived with his uncle. 

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Chaney said Thursday that family told authorities Moore was "off his meds," but that they are still looking into this claim and were unable to identify which medication Moore was taking. 

"He stayed to himself," his mother said.  

Family gathered in the shade of a tree outside of the house where the incident unfolded to mourn together. Many of them wore masks. Most looked stunned by the afternoon's events.

Myles, Moore's 44-year-old cousin, said sometimes he would "lose his mind" and break some windows, but he would never attack his family during these moments of chaos. He was hospitalized as recently as last year, she said. 

Myles gestured to the yard, where she said Eddie Carter collapsed after he was shot. 

"He shot his uncle for nothing," she said, adjusting her mask and surveying the property. 

The victims all had "good personalities," Myles said. She described them as loving and caring people. Their family is tight-knit, she said, with most of them living clustered on Self Road.

Sitting in her chair beside Lee, Myles sighed and leaned back. She said her head felt like it was about to explode after all the crying. 

"We all were a close family," she said. "It hurts bad. We're trying to get through it." 


Email Jacqueline DeRobertis at jderobertis@theadvocate.com