A 46-year-old father in Hillsborough, NC is being charged with killing his 4-year-old son and attempting to kill his other two children.
Joseph Mitchell is facing one count of first degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.
Durham County Sheriff's Deputies were called to Mitchell's Thistle Trace home around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Deputies say emergency workers found the 4-year-old boy downstairs. Investigators say he was taken to Duke Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Deputies say the boy died of asphyxiation.
Investigators say Mitchell also tried to kill his two other children before stabbing himself.
Deputies haven't said what led to the crime.
Lieutenant Stan Harris said, "Obviously the mother's very shaken, along with the grandfather of the kid. So it just takes time to let them deescalate so we can get down to exactly what happened."
Deputies say Mitchell underwent surgery and has been stabilized.
Neighbors say the Mitchells are known for being hands-on parents on their quiet street.
"They love their kids," neighbor Ralph Sears said. "He coaches every team that his kids get to play on, and they do things with their daughter. They're real involved with their family."
Deputies say this is a crime that's shaken the community.
"It hurts, especially those with younger children. We're talking about a 4-year-old in this case," Harris said. "That's tragic. It simply is."
Investigators say the two other children were not seriously injured.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.