A 14-year-old Pennsylvania boy is accused of killing his mother and 8-year-old brother Wednesday morning and then calling the police to blame the murders on his father, police say.
Jacob Remaley called 911 after shooting his mother and brother dead as they slept in their beds, telling the operator, “Why didn’t he kill me, I need help,” before hanging up, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
His mother, Dana, 46, and brother, Caleb, were found dead in their New Stanton, Pennsylvania, home Wednesday morning when police arrived about 7 a.m. Jacob’s father, David Remaley, was at work at the time, according to police.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Jacob Remaley Told Police He Would Have Also Killed His Father If He Hadn’t Been at Work
After the shootings, Jacob Remaley was taken into custody by police and brought to a local hospital, where his father gave detectives permission to interview him, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
He confessed to shooting his brother and mother in the head while they slept in their beds, and said he would have “shot dad too,” if he hadn’t been at work, police said.
District Attorney John Peck told reporters Jacob Remaley took a handgun from the top of the family’s refrigerator and went to his bedroom, where he found it was unloaded. Peck said Jacob then went back into the kitchen and “grabbed a six-round magazine and loaded the handgun.”
Jacob then, “walked into the mother’s room wear she was asleep and shot her and then walked into his brother’s room, where he was asleep, and shot him. They were clearly both lethal shots,” Peck said.
2. In a 911 Call He Said He ‘Didn’t Know Why His Dad Put a Gun In His Bed’ & Told the Operator He Had Blood on His Hands
In another 911 call, Jacob Remaley told the operator “hat he didn’t know why his dad put a gun in his bed. …(he) became hysterical and told the 911 operator that he had blood on his hands,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
After the shootings, Jacob ran out into his yard, according to police, with the handgun still in his hand. He was found by a neighbor and was wearing just a T-shirt and boxers, police said. He kept repeating “Mom,” and the neighbor told him she loved him, according to the Post-Gazette. He then said, “I love my mom, too.”
Police said Jacob then sat down and threw the gun into a nearby yard.
Jacob Remaley’s grandfather, also named David Remaley, said Jacob’s father had at least two handguns in the home and was an accomplished marksman and military veteran.
“I know he had two handguns,” the elder David Remaley told the Post-Gazette. “He carried a gun with him all the time. He had a license to carry and he’d go to the gun range. I know he showed the kids about guns and explained things.”
Police said they initially thought Jacob’s father had killed his wife and son, based on the 911 calls.
“He said that his father left the firearm in his bed and had left (the house), so without specifically saying he saw his father do it, he would have given you an idea — one would presume that he would have done it, by the words that he said. But it was very quickly dismissed by our investigators after making some phone calls and doing some interviews and time frames,” Trooper Stephan Limani told WTAE-TV.
3. Jacob Remaley, a Straight-A Student, Is Religiously Devout & Was Upset His Mother Didn’t Attend Church, His Grandmother Says
A friend of the family described Jacob Remaley as a polite, straight-A student in an interview with WTAE-TV.
“If you could pick a friend for your kid, it would be Jacob,” Anita Stoner told the news station. “They’re a good family. They’re your all-American family — hard workers, give back to the community. I just don’t know.”
Jacob Remaley’s grandmother, Joyce Remaley, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette her grandson was religiously devout and upset that his mother didn’t attend the Catholic Church with him.
Joyce Remaley told the newspaper that her grandson said his mother was “upset at God,” over the death of her own mother from cancer about a decade ago.
Police said they have not yet determined a motive, but said Jacob did not get along with his parents.
“The only real conclusion we could draw from some of our investigation was that he had a difference with his parents – when it came to maybe not getting along with them that well. His brother, it’s very difficult to actually have an answer for why,” Trooper Stephen Limani told KDKA-TV. “I really don’t specifically have an answer for why. It doesn’t seem like there was any type of [tumultuous] relationship between he and his brother. If anything, it was actually fairly good for people that are six years apart as siblings.”
4. Dana Remaley Worked at a Local Middle School & Caleb Was in Third Grade
Dana Mehalic Remaley was a personal-care assistant, providing one-on-one assistance to students with emotional and behavioral issues, at West Hempfield Middle School, according to the Hempfield Area School District.
Her son, Caleb, was a third grader at Stanwood Elementary School, the district said.
David Remaley, 52, is an Iraq War veteran who retired from the military three years ago and now works as a master plumber at the VA Hospital in Pittsburgh, the Post-Gazette reports.
5. Jacob, Who Is Being Charged With Murder as an Adult, Is Undergoing a Psychiatric Evaluation Before His First Court Appearance
Jacob Remaley is being held without bail pending an arraignment on two counts each of criminal homicide and first-degree murder, KDKA-TV reports.
He is being charged as an adult.
Police said Jacob is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation, according to the news station. It is not yet known if an attorney has been hired for him.