Sergeant Keith Lewis, 31, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Sunday night
A Fort Bragg soldier fatally shot his heavily pregnant wife in front of their three-year-old daughter before turning the gun on himself in a horrific murder-suicide in North Carolina, according to police.
Sergeant Keith Lewis, 31, a member of the Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Fayetteville on Sunday night, WRAL reported.
Lewis, who reportedly suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, shot his wife Sarah Lewis, 34, who was due to give birth to their fourth child on Christmas Day, before taking his own life, police said.
Sarah was rushed to the hospital where she and her unborn daughter, who the couple had planned to name Isabella, later died.
Authorities say the couple’s three-year-old daughter had been home at the time of the shooting but was not harmed. She is now in the care of her other relatives.
Police say Lewis shot his wife Sarah Lewis (pictured) 34, who was due to give birth to their fourth child on Christmas Day, before taking his own life
Witnesses reported hearing multiple gunshots ring out on the 900 block of Willow Street around 7pm on Sunday
Neighbor Emilia Rivera, who was at home with her boyfriend at the time, recalled hearing gunshots ring out on the 900 block of Willow Street around 7pm.
‘We heard the gunshots. Immediately [my boyfriend] was like, “You know someone just died. You don’t shoot that many gunshots and not try to kill somebody”,’ she told the news station.
Another witness, who did not want to be named, said he saw Lewis fire about ’20 rounds’ from an ‘automatic weapon’ before running back into the home.
He said Lewis was still alive when police arrived at the scene and had spoken to officers for ‘about 15 minutes.’
Cops then tried to talk the father-of-three into surrendering and exiting the house, but they were not successful, the news station reported.
Sarah’s aunt, Tammy De Mirza described the tragedy as a ‘horror movie.’
‘I love her, and I refuse [for] the memory of her to be a victim. I’m not going to let her death be in vain,’ De Mirza said.
Cops then tried to talk him into surrendering and exiting the house before he took his own life, the news station reported
According to social media, Sarah had worked as paramedic for Harnett County Emergency Services
De Mirza revealed Lewis had allegedly threatened his wife in the past and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Fayetteville Observer reported police had responded to a domestic incident involving the couple at the home in 2016 but no charges were filed.
‘This guy had PTSD. This happened two-and-a-half years ago, — the exact same scenario,’ De Mirza added. ‘From what I understand, he drank, and when he drank, he lost it.’
‘He was obviously very troubled, and there is nothing in my heart but forgiveness,’ she continued.
According to social media, Sarah had worked as a paramedic for Harnett County Emergency Services.
‘Sarah had an infectious smile and was a light everywhere she went. Please keep her daughters and family in your thoughts and prayers during this unimaginable time,’ the agency said in statement on social media.
Lt. Col. Mark Finnegan, 98th Civil Affairs battalion commander, also confirmed the deaths in a statement.
‘We are profoundly saddened at the tragic passing of Staff Sgt. and Mrs. Lewis. Our soldiers and families are the bedrock of our unit and any loss deeply affects our formations,’ he said.
‘We are working to provide the utmost support to the family and our team.’
The shooting remains under investigation.