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Police say a Mississippi man fatally shot his wife and two friends at her birthday celebration after he was prevented from driving drunk.
Michael Barnhill, 30, was charged Monday with three counts of homicide in connection to the tragic party in Carollton. He also faces charges for attempted murder, according to Carroll County Sheriff’s Office.
The party, which was hosted by Jim and Brooks Harrell, was held Friday in honor of the suspect’s wife, Marlee, who would’ve turned 27 the following day, according to authorities.
During the gathering, Marlee Barnhill kept the truck keys “to prevent [her husband from] driving away in his drunken state,” officials said.
But as the night wore on, Michael Barnhill allegedly became “combative” when his wife and pals tried to contain his behavior.
“These were all good friends having a nice time together,” Carroll County Sheriff Clint Walker said in a statement. “Michael Barnhill, however, became drunk and belligerent during the course of the evening.”
Michael Barnhill allegedly got a pistol from his truck and fatally shot his wife in the chest. When the Harrells tried to prevent more gunfire, Barnhill allegedly fired shots at both of them, news station WTVA reported.
Emergency responders pronounced 44-year-old Jim Harrell dead at the home. His 39-year-old wife, Brooks Harrell, was airlifted to a Jackson hospital, where she later died.
Two other guests were not injured and identified Michael Barnhill as the gunman to authorities.
Deputies arrested Michael Barnhill at the scene after a brief struggle. He is being held without bond.
“Marlee was trying to do the right thing to protect his life and the lives of other drivers,” Walker said.
With Post wires