Baby, grandmother witness to apparent murder-suicide of 2 brothers

ATHENS, TX (KLTV) - By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

HENDERSON COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Two East Texas brothers are dead after an apparent murder-suicide.

The Henderson County Sheriff's Office says Robert Higginbotham was shot multiple times by his younger brother, Justin Higginbotham Saturday afternoon. Justin also has a baby girl who was inside the mobile home when it happened.

It was a gruesome scene Saturday.

"We kept the family overnight," said Brenda Pouncey, a neighbor and witness.

Pouncey says she listened in fear as Justin Higginbotham unloaded rounds of ammunition, killing his older brother, Robert in his mobile home.

"The grandmother was feeding the baby and Robert was eating a bowl of soup," said Pouncey. "Robert didn't even put his bowl down when Justin shot him."

Brenda says Justin snapped when his girlfriend, the mother of his child, told him she was in love with Robert and was leaving him. Brenda says a few hours later, Justin returned full of rage. She says he walked past his girlfriend, and shot Robert in the head.

"I could hear her screaming cause the storm door was open," said Pouncey. "She said, 'Oh my God! What have you done?! What have you done?!' And, he shot him in the back twice. He went to the bedroom, came back with another gun and while she was down on the floor with him...He shot him five more times."

Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt says Justin used an SKS assault rifle, 45 caliber handgun and a shotgun to kill Robert.

"[The] medical examiner had said [there are] possibly 42 wounds," said Sheriff Nutt.

But, the bloodshed did not end there. Investigators say Justin then locked himself in his bedroom, taking his own life.

"Blood splattered everywhere and it was sad," said Pouncey. "It really was and I was hurting for the grandmother and the girl and especially the baby. She was so lost."

The child and mother are now staying with other family outside of Henderson County.

We found out the victim, Robert, had been in trouble with the law before for illegal possession of firearms. Justin had no criminal history that we found.

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