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Authorities Say Hixson Man Shot And Killed His 15-Year-Old Son On Saturday Night; Also Killed Family Dog

Sunday, August 19, 2018
Mike McElrath
Mike McElrath

Authorities said a Hixson man shot and killed his 15-year-old son on Saturday night.

A report says Mike McElrath, 46, who was found naked at a neighbor's house, also killed the family dog. McElrath was a former Hamilton County corrections officer from 1996-1999.

County deputies responded at 10:24 p.m. to 1846 Cotter Road. The residents said there was a man on their front porch who said he was "butt naked" and said "there's blood everywhere."

They said the man also said, "Call the police. I've shot my son."

The Sheriff's Office also received a call from Beth Ann McElrath at 1857 Cotter Road. She advised that she believed her husband had shot their son.

Deputies found Mike McElrath sitting on the neighbor's porch. He was naked.

As deputies approached and ordered him to the ground, he said, "I did it. I did it. I shot my son. I don't know why. I'm so sorry."

He was then placed in handcuffs. McElrath has been charged with criminal homicide and is being held at the Hamilton County Jail under a $1,000,000 bond.

The son was found in his home deceased from multiple gunshot wounds to the abdomen. 

A dog was found deceased in the hallway from a gunshot wound.

A spent cartridge casing was found on the floor.

Beth Ann McElrath said she woke up suddenly to a commotion with the dog barking. She said her husband walked into the room with blood on his shirt and told her "it was nothing."

She said she saw two guns on the side of the bed.

Ms. McElrath said her husband told her "it was a dream" and to "go back to bed."

She said once she went back to bed her husband lay on top of their smaller dog in a choke hold.

She said her husband then told her, "I had to shoot him in the head." She immediately got up to check on her son and found he had been shot.

Her husband left while she was checking on the son, she said.

Cotter Road is near Thrasher Pike.


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