Two Teenagers Dead After Murder-Suicide In Van Zandt County - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

4/28/05-Van Zandt County

Two Teenagers Dead After Murder-Suicide In Van Zandt County

One day after after an East Texas teenager fatally stabbed his cousin then took his own life, authorities were trying to determine why it happened.

It started Thursday morning around 11 a.m. on Van Zandt County Road 2702. That's located on the Van Zandt and Kaufman county line.

Authorities released the 911 call to KLTV on Thursday.

Dispatch: Van Zandt County 911?
Caller: Uh yes. I'm not real sure what's going on, but my neighbor across the street, there's been a lot of gun shots going off.


A neighbor's calm but concerned voice first alerted deputies of the danger.

Caller: There is a woman screaming like she's pleading and there's been some more gun shots going off.

The neighbor was describing the cries of 19-year-old Jessica Tarlton.

Officials said her 18-year-old cousin, Samuel Carter, had stabbed her inside his home. Jessica managed to make it across the field to a relative's home where she apparently broke a window, climbed inside, and later died.

When authorities arrived at Carter's house, he was distraught.

"We were met by a young man that came out of the house with a picture, of someone," said Van Zandt County Sheriff Pat Burnett. "I don't know what the picture, who it was, or what significance it played and (he had) a knife."

"At that point and time he was told to drop the knife, he ran back in the house and picked up what was later identified as an AK-47."

Officers negotiated with Carter for several hours but received no response.

Tear gas was fired in to the house. When officers went inside, they found Carter dead from a self inflicted gun shot wound.

"These were next door neighbors and cousins, they were apparently very close," Burnett said.

Why this happened is still unanswered. Authorities are trying to piece together what pushed Carter to take his cousin's life and then his own.

Sheriff Burnett said he was told Carter had been acting strangely the past few days. Investigators now plan to talk to family members to determine the motive.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com

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