Hixson father charged in teen son's slaying

Hixson father charged in teen son's slaying

August 19th, 2018 by Staff Report in Local Regional News
Michael David McElrath, 46, is charged with criminal homicide.

Michael David McElrath, 46, is charged with criminal...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

A Hixson man is charged with murder after law enforcement officials say he killed his 15-year-old son.

An affidavit of complaint on the incident paints a shocking scene.

Responding to a call just before 10:30 p.m., deputies with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office found the 15-year-old victim in the 1800 block of Cotter Road. Cotter Road is a block off of Thrasher Pike, near Hixson Pike.

Michael David McElrath, 46, shot his teen son multiple times before running to a neighbor's house, according to a news release from the sheriff's office. McElrath also killed the family dog, authorities said.

According to the complaint, a dispatcher was told by a caller that a naked man was on their porch who said, "there's blood everywhere," and told the caller to "call the police, I've shot my son."

Another caller was a woman who told a 911 dispatcher that she "believes her husband had shot her son," the complaint states.

Deputies found McElrath on the porch at a neighbor's house when they got to the scene.

"As Deputy T. McRae approached the subject and ordered him to the ground he uttered, 'I did it, I did it. I'm so sorry. I shot my son. I don't know why,'" the complaint states.

McElrath was placed in custody and emergency medical officials were summoned.

Authorities entered the residence, where they found the teen with multiple gunshot wounds to his abdomen. He was pronounced dead at the scene, the complaint states. The family dog was found dead in a hallway and a spent shell was seen on the floor.

A woman interviewed by authorities at the scene whose name was not released told investigators she awoke suddenly to a commotion with the dog barking, and McElrath walked into the room and told her "it was a dream" and to "go back to bed," the complaint states.

When she returned to bed, McElrath told her, "I had to shoot him in the head," and the woman told authorities she immediately got up to check on her son and found he had been shot, the complaint states.

Meanwhile, McElrath left the residence and was found by deputies at the neighbor's home, according to authorities.

McElrath is charged with criminal homicide and remains in the Hamilton County Jail on a $1 million bond.