Father, daughter die in apparent murder-suicide in Clayton

A father suspected of kidnapping two children on Thanksgiving day fatally shot his daughter and then himself following a police chase and crash in Clayton County, officials said.

Several law enforcement agencies are investigating after Lionel Edwards shot his daughter multiple times before turning the gun on himself, Clayton police said in a news release. A department spokesperson said the second child Edwards allegedly kidnapped was let go before the shooting.

The incident began with a domestic call in Henry County that led local authorities to ask Clayton police to perform a wellness check at an address in their jurisdiction just after 9:30 p.m., according to the release. Henry police confirmed the original domestic incident “ultimately led to the death of two people directly involved.”

A Henry police spokesman did not provide any additional details, citing the ongoing investigation.

Clayton officers did not find anyone at the address provided, but Jonesboro police later located Edwards’ car based on its description, authorities said. The Jonesboro officers requested assistance from Clayton police, but when they arrived, Edwards tried to drive away and a chase ensued.

Edwards led the officers into a cul-de-sac off South Bay Court in Riverdale, where he crashed into a bush, according to Clayton police. Edwards’ car became immobilized and officers approached the stopped vehicle on foot. As the officers closed in, they said they heard multiple shots from the car.

Officers found Edwards’ daughter with gunshot wounds, Clayton police said. Edwards was also suffering from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Officers tried to give the girl life-saving first aid, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Edwards was taken to the hospital but later died, police said.

No further information has been released about the shooting, including the identity of the second child or the nature of the domestic incident that began the entire series of events.

— Please return to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for updates.