A man who got into an argument with his estranged wife over their children was arrested in a house-to-house shooting rampage in rural Mississippi that left eight people dead, including a sheriff's deputy.
"I ain't fit to live, not after what I done," a handcuffed Willie Corey Godbolt, 35, told The Clarion-Ledger.
The shootings took place at three homes Saturday night – two in Brookhaven and one in Bogue Chitto – about 70 miles (110 kilometers) south of Jackson, after authorities got a call about a domestic dispute, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation said.
The dead included two boys, investigators said. Godbolt was listed in good condition at a hospital with a gunshot wound; authorities did not say how he was wounded.
Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain said charges had yet to be filed and it was too soon to say what the motive was. Authorities gave no details on the relationship between Godbolt and the victims.
However, Godbolt himself shed some light on what happened in a video interview with the newspaper as he sat with his hands cuffed behind his back on the side of a road.
Godbolt said he was talking with his wife and in-laws when somebody called authorities.
"I was having a conversation with her stepdaddy and her mama and her, my wife, about me taking my children home," he said. "Somebody called the officer, people that didn't even live at the house. That's what they do. They intervene."
"They cost him his life," he said, apparently referring to the deputy. "I'm sorry."
"I love my wife, I love my kids," Godbolt said. "They would not let me live... I just wanted to love my family."
The stepfather-in-law, Vincent Mitchell, said in an interview that Godbolt's wife and their two children had been staying at his Bogue Chitto home for about three weeks after she left her husband.
After the sheriff's deputy arrived at the house, Godbolt looked as if he was about to leave, then reached into his back pocket, pulled a gun and opened fire, Mitchell said.
Mitchell said he escaped along with Godbolt's wife. But he said three family members were killed in his home: his wife, her sister and one of the wife's daughters.
"I'm devastated. It don't seem like it's real," Mitchell said.
The slain deputy was identified as William Durr, 36.
Godbolt said he did not intend for police to capture him alive.
"My intentions was to have God kill me. I ran out of bullets," he said. "Suicide by cop was my intention."