Toddler Shooting Suspect Had Violent Past

GRIFTON - The father who deputies say shot and killed his three-year-old son in Grifton Friday had a violent past, according to court records.

Pitt County investigators now say the shooting was motivated by an ongoing domestic dispute between Carey Adams and his estranged wife, the toddler's mother.  Her identity has not been released to the public, but investigators say she did take a restraining order out against Adams in the past.

According to the North Carolina Department of Corrections website, in 2006, Adams was convicted of Assault With a Deadly Weapon and Felony Breaking and Entering. In 2008, Adams was convicted of Possession of a Firearm by a Felon and Communicating Threats.

Pitt County Sheriff's investigators said in a news conference Adams had three different domestic violence protective orders filed against him in the past. The different woman files protective orders against Adams in 2001, 2002 and 2010, including the mother of the Jesse Adams, the son deputies say Adams killed.

In all three orders, officials said Adams either threatened or attempted suicide over the phone. In 2001, Adams shot himself in the chest after a domestic argument but survived.

Officials said there is no report of any domestic violence to Adam's children, until the shooting on Friday.

According to deputies, the child's mother called 911 on Friday after receiving a call from Adams, in which Adams said he had just shot the couple's child.  Deputies rushed to the scene, and as they walked toward the home, they heard Adams fire the final shot.  They say that was the shot with which he killed himself.

Carey Adams initially survived that shooting, but deputies say he died Sunday afternoon at the hospital.


Previous Story: Deputies say father shoots, kills 3-year-old

Deputies say a local father shot and killed his three-year old child Friday night.

It happened at 1072 Wiley Gaskins Road in Grifton.  Deputies say they received a 911 call at 10:03 p.m. and responded to the residence.

Once there, investigators found that a three-year-old child had been shot.  The child was transported by EMS and later died at the hospital.

Pitt County officials say the shooter was the child's father, 34-year-old Carey Adams, Jr.  Deputies say that after shooting his son, Adams turned the gun on himself. 

Investigators have not released a motive in the shooting, but say there was an on-going domestic dispute between Adams and his son's mother.

Ben Gaskins lives across the street from where the shooting took place.  Gaskins says he often saw Adams and his son, Jesse, playing in the lawn.

"He'd either be riding the kid on the lawn mower with him cutting grass, or they had bought him a little gator, and he'd be riding that gator behind his dad," said Gaskins.

Neighbors say the child's grandparents live next door.

"Bad things happen to good people.  I didn't sleep much last night, knowing there were kids involved, an innocent child," said Gaskins.

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