Mother, Son Found Shot
A mystery over what went on in an East Texas home. A mother and son are dead, and authorities and friends have more questions than answers.
Wood County Sheriff Deputies say Jason Payne called 911 to report his wife 35 year old Nicole Payne and her son 16 year old Austin Wages were dead in their home north of Quitman. Although we have confirmed the two were shot, officials say at this time they are not calling it a homicide.
"It's just crazy. I sat with him everyday at lunch and now he's just gone," said Kristin Branch a friend with Austin Wages at Quitman High school. Now, all she has left of him are memories
"I mean he was here yesterday and now he didn't come to school today and I didn't think anything of it till I heard," said Kristin, "He was really sweet . He didn't really say much. All we did was have intelligent conversations. He likes skateboarding."
"Obviously people do crazy things. I don't see that happening to Austin at all. He doesn't seem like the type of person that would do anything to anybody in a negative way. He's not an aggressive person," said Kristin.
Right now authorities aren't exactly sure what happened inside the home, but say they think the shooting happed just before the 911 call was made around 9 a.m. Nicole's husband Jason, who made the call, was questioned for five hours Tuesday evening before being allowed to go home.
"We cannot tell at this time where it could be a murder or a murder suicide. The investigation will have to determine that," said Wood County Sheriff Dwaine Daugherty, "Our investigators are still out there are are trying to find the weapon that was used."
Nicole Payne had two other young children, but we're told they were not in the home during the shooting. They are now in CPS custody.
Nicole had a business out of her home called Wings of Love where she would release white doves at special occasions like weddings and funerals.
"She was a joyful person in that she wanted to please and she was doing it for her birds," said Mary Bass, "It's very sad. She was so young. She seemed very vibrant. So, it is sad."
The Texas Rangers and the Wood County Sheriff's Department are investigating. The bodies have been sent to Dallas for autopsy.
Danielle Capper, Reporting firstname.lastname@example.org