Update: 11-year-old boy shot by mother in Jefferson County has died
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. - An 11-year-old Jefferson County boy, who was shot by his mother, has died. Police say his mother shot him in the head before fatally shooting herself.
Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies were called to the 7200 block of Valley Drive in Barnhart just after 12 a.m. Saturday. They found a woman and boy who had been shot in the head and a gun nearby.
"Without getting too graphic, these were very traumatic injuries," said Sgt. Brian Taylor with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department. "These were not grazing wounds. These were significant. Even by first glances from us, we knew they were life-threatening injuries."
The preliminary investigation suggests the mother, Tara Kelleher, 49, shot her son then shot herself. Kelleher was pronounced dead at the hospital.
the sheriff’s department tells us… the mother’s fiancée was sleeping and woke when he heard the shots and went to go see what happened.
"His initial reaction was to reach for the girlfriend, but she wasn't in the bed so he said 'I'll go look for her around the house,' and when he opened the door he found both of them lying there on the bedroom floor."
Investigators spent more than six hours scouring the scene searching for a motive. They found some "unusual text messages" Kelleher sent to her other son a few hours before the shooting. Authorities seized some electronics, including cell phones, from the home in hopes of finding more answers.