Three found dead at Tift residence

TIFTON -- Authorities were called Monday to the scene of what has been labeled as a double murder-suicide in Tift County.

At 7:30 a.m. Monday, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Sylvester Office and the Tift County Sheriff's Office began a joint investigation into a murder-suicide that occurred in Tift County, a news release from the GBI states.

Authorities say that, in the course of the investigation, two adults were discovered deceased inside the residence located at 103 Iniss Road in Tifton. They have been identified as James Williams Peters Sr., approximately 57 years of age, and Shirley Ann Peters, approximately 53 years of age.

Both had sustained what appeared to be gunshot wounds.

A third person also found deceased at the residence was identified as Darrell Dewayne Ward, approximately 43 years of age, who had sustained a gunshot wound to the chest.

Officials say the crime scene examination and interviews conducted by the GBI and Tift County authorities so far indicate that, some time after 10 p.m. on Sunday, Ward drove to the Peters' residence armed with a handgun and mortally wounded James and Shirley Peters, shot their daughter, and then fatally shot himself.

The daughter is expected to recover from the injuries she sustained during the attack. The bodies of the deceased are being transported to the GBI crime lab for autopsies.

The investigation by the GBI, Tift County Sheriff's Office and the Tift County Coroner's Office is ongoing. The GBI is the lead agency in the investigation.