Shooter kills 3 family members, claims “self-defense”

Nathaniel Pipkin gave reporters a shocking explanation after allegedly murdering his mother, sister and stepbrother at their Tennessee home.

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A man.
Nathaniel Pipkin
(Maury County Sheriff's Office)

A Tennessee man accused of killing three family members has described his horrific actions as “self-defense.”

Nathaniel Pipkin, 22, shot dead his mother, 11-year-old sister, and stepbrother in a murderous rampage at the family’s Columbia home before 6 a.m. on Friday, authorities said.

Pipkin’s stepfather was also present at the time of the shooting but managed to flee the home, according to The Columbia Daily Herald.

Pipkin was reportedly stocked for further mayhem when police arrested him three hours later during a traffic stop over 100 miles away.

“Multiple firearms were in plain view, such as long guns,” Maury County Sheriff Bucky Rowland said at a news conference. “The suspect was actively wearing ballistic body armor.”

Pipkin then offered a simple but shocking explanation for his alleged crimes when asked for comment by a WKRN-TV reporter.

“Self-defense,” the suspect is heard saying in video of him being escorted to the county jail in front of gathered media.

The shooting victims were identified as Pipkin’s 44-year-old mom Traci Louise McNeely, 11-year-old sister Kailee Grace Warren, and 20-year-old stepbrother Carson Glenn Pipkin, the Herald reported.

Sheriff Rowland said at the news conference that a male family member was the only other person in the home at the time of the killings, but didn’t confirm that it was McNeely’s husband.

“One escaped through a window and fled to a nearby home and placed the 911 call,” the sheriff said.

After the shootings, Pipkin drove off in his silver Mustang, triggering a manhunt that ended when he surrendered without incident, police said.

He faces both murder and attempted murder charges, according to the Herald.

Pipkin’s previous brushes with the law include a March arrest on an unlawful weapons possession charge, Sheriff Rowland said.

Authorities are yet to suggest what might have led to last week’s triple murder.

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