Though divorced David and Michelle Craft were at the home owned jointly by them on Friday when an argument began. Michelle Craft has told investigators that Craft, 36, hit her.
She apparently called her brother 25 year old Anthony Barrett and his wife to come and pick her up. When they arrived Michelle Craft left taking the couple’s 2 year old son with her.
At some point several hours later, Michelle Craft and Anthony Barrett returned to the home to pick up some items. Ms. Craft asked her brother Anthony Barrett to remain in the car to protect the child while she ran into the home to pick the things up.
As she was coming out of the home, reportedly David Craft shot her in the leg and began assaulting her. Then he went to the car to get the boy. Anthony Barrett tried to protect the child, and Craft shot Anthony Barrett in the chest.
Anthony Barrett was dead when sheriff’s deputies arrived. Michelle Craft was taken to the hospital where she underwent surgery. The child is fine.
David Craft was arrested for murder, and there are pending charges for assault on his wife.
A neighbor has reported that the Craft’s seemed happy together. “Never seen any yelling, screaming coming from the home, it’s just very shocking.”
When couples argue a bit of time apart is usually enough time for tempers to cool. Yet when violence enters the argument it can often take days, weeks, months or occasionally even years for the risk to lessen.
Once you get out, try not to go back. Try to do without any items you left behind or if it is absolutely necessary to have something, try to take a police officer with you as a peacekeeper. Even if you don’t think they have any weapons, there are too many items in the home that can be used as a weapon. And do not take the children back into the situation.
Is Michelle Craft to blame for her brother’s death? No. That blame should be assigned only to the person who pulled the trigger on the gun. Probably she thought she would be the only target. Possibly she thought Craft would have had enough time to cool off. But the kind of rage that leads to violence, takes much longer to cool.
It is not all that unusual for couples who have divorced to try to reconcile and divorces happen for many reasons. Neighbors say they never saw signs of violence. But I would have to wonder what led to the divorce in the first place.
Anthony Barrett. Trying to protect his sister and his nephew. Trying to be a good brother and a good uncle. He was not standing face to face threatening Craft. His only role was to protect the child from the man with a gun. The man who had shot and assaulted the child’s mother. The man who then wanted to take the child.