Four Dead in Mother’s Day Massacre

( – A Mississippi man has been shot dead in Arizona. Police say he’s the main suspect in the murder of his mother and two sisters and then fleeing the state only to die a day later and hundreds of miles away. In a horrible irony, the crime was discovered on Mother’s Day.

On May 12, Mother’s Day, locals in Ridgeland, Mississippi, asked police to carry out a welfare check at a house on Old Canton Road. When officers responded they found the bodies of 76-year-old Ida Thomas Welch and her daughters Vicky and Crystal. All three had been shot dead. They then issued an arrest warrant for Ivory James Welch III, Ida’s son, who had been seen leaving the scene of the crime.

The US Marshals Fugitive Task Force launched a search for Welch and managed to track his movements as far as Dallas, but as it turned out it was Arizona state troopers who found him the next day on a highway near Morenci — around 30 miles west of the New Mexico state line.

The officers tried to arrest him, but he drew a gun and opened fire on them. Police shot back in self-defense. The Arizona Committee of Public Safety confirmed Welch died in the confrontation.

Crystal Welch, the suspect’s sister, was an associate professor at the Mississippi College School of Law, and since last year had also served as president of the board of directors at the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi.

Ridgeland police chief Brian Myers said the crime would have “a lasting effect” on the remnants of the family as well as the officers involved. Meanwhile, ACLU of Mississippi executive director Jarvis Dortch praised Crystal Welch, calling her “a great friend and… an enthusiastic leader.” So far there’s no indication of why Ivory Welch went on his murderous rampage.

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