In a horrific murder-suicide that left five people dead over the weekend, a father in North Carolina shot and killed his wife, three children, and himself, The New York Post reported.

Local police identified the gunman as Robert Crayton Jr., who had a history of mental illness before the gunfire began inside a home Saturday morning. The 45-year-old man’s wife Athalia Crayton, 46, and children, Kasin Crayton and two other unidentified minors, 16 and 10, were all killed, according to High Point police.

According to High Point police, two additional individuals, a relative and a friend, were able to flee the house and knocked on neighbors' doors in need of assistance. The two survivors, a man, and a woman are both in their 20s.

The loved ones of the murdered family told the police that Crayton had a mental disorder, according to police Lt. Patrick Welch, who made the statement during a press conference broadcast on WFMY-TV.

According to Welch, Crayton was served an involuntary mental commitment order in January 2022. He said police believe the family took out the mental commitment order.

Since 2014, authorities have made five trips to the house, according to the police. Welch claimed that Crayton was never detained.

“They have not told us any information that he was necessarily a violent person on a daily basis,” Welch said of talks with the family’s relatives.

“The only information that we have up to this point is that he was suffering from some mental illness,” he added.

According to Welch, it's not clear whether the gun was obtained legally. He added that there was still no information on the motive that led to the fatal shooting inside the house.

“I’ve expressed this to the family as we may never know why,” he said. “What goes through the hearts and minds of a person who would do this sometimes dies with him.”

Just a few days prior, eight people perished in a murder-suicide in Utah where a man shot and killed his wife, five children, and mother-in-law before shooting himself to death.

[Representational Image] KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images

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