Late Tuesday night, 32-year-old Bobby Brantley threatened to kill his estranged wife.
Twelve hours later, Brantley fulfilled his fatal promise, murdering her and her mother inside her family's home before shooting himself after a standoff as police entered the house to save a 4-month-old boy.
Theresa Brantley, 31, was pronounced dead at the scene at 1311 N. McGuire Ave., along with 55-year-old Treeba Ryder and Bobby Brantley. Theresa Brantley's father, Clinton Ryder, 60, was shot in the face but survived a glancing blast from a shotgun.
According to police and eyewitness accounts, Brantley went to the house shortly before noon armed with two shotguns.
Nurse technician Tamantha Davis was with a patient across the street when she saw Brantley drive up to the house. According to Davis, he went to the back door, shooting and swearing as he approached.
At one point, Davis said, Brantley came back into the street, shooting in all directions and even shooting at an approaching delivery truck as he stood in the street.
"This is like in the movies," Davis said. "... He just didn't care."
Those shots likely came as he confronted Clinton Ryder, who was grazed by spray from a shotgun blast just below his right eye. Clinton Ryder was able to get three children — an 11-year-old boy and two young girls — out of the house.
Bobby Brantley apparently followed the children outside and prepared to shoot at them, but a neighbor was able to get the children inside her home before they were injured, Monroe Police Chief Ron Schleuter said.
"She probably saved those children's lives," Schleuter said.
At least two of the children were Brantley's, according to Schleuter.
Clinton Ryder was unaware that his wife and daughter lay dead on the floor of their home as he described his encounter with Bobby Brantley to a uniformed officer. Blood clotted in the wound on his face as he spoke with police three or four blocks from the scene outside a police perimeter.
"The kids ran out of the door," he said. "He just kept shooting. ... He had two shotguns that I know of. I know because I grabbed one and threw it on the floor."
Bobby Brantley then holed up inside the house, with the two women and the infant inside. Neighbors reported hearing multiple gunshots.
A two-hour standoff ensued with dozens of emergency personnel, including Monroe police and fire, state troopers and SWAT officers. Schleuter said the Special Response Team decided to go into the home after it sent a digitally equipped robot into the house and heard the infant cry. Through the robot camera, they also could see a woman lying on the floor.
The women, he said, were already dead when the response team went in.
"At no time during the rescue of the 4-month-old child did Mr. Brantley attempt to engage SRT personnel," he said.
Brantley saw the police in the house and killed himself, Schleuter said.
As police swarmed the house, Capt. Evelyn Robinson ran down the street with the child in her arms, heading toward waiting ambulance personnel.
The child was taken to St. Francis North Hospital but was released. He was not harmed.
Just minutes later, Schleuter walked up the street to small clusters of waiting family members who had been nervously asking all who approached for information.
Hysterical screams and sobs came from the group as Schleuter informed them of the news. Family members declined comment at the scene.
The murder-suicide followed what appeared to be a history of violence between the former couple. Monroe police arrested Brantley early Wednesday morning for disturbing the peace and disturbing the peace by profane language for calling and driving by the house on North McGuire, threatening to kill his ex-wife and blow up the house.
He paid a pre-set $200 bond on the misdemeanors just hours before the killings.According to the Union Parish Clerk of Court's office, Theresa Brantley filed for protective orders against her husband three times. She first obtained one in December 2006, but asked that it be dismissed a week later. She obtained another in December, which was dismissed at her request the following month.
She sought another one following a June 2 incident but was told she had to file in Ouachita Parish, where she now lived.
Just two days before her death, Brantley asked for another restraining order in Ouachita Parish, claiming her ex-husband beat her and her teenage son with a board and their 8-year-old daughter in the head with a belt and buckle.
Caleb Brantley, Theresa Brantley's 15-year-old son and Bobby Brantley's stepson, sobbed as he described the events that led up to the shooting.
"We left last Sunday," he said. "He was beating me."
Bobby Brantley was arrested in Union Parish for aggravated battery with a dangerous weapon, aggravated second-degree battery and false imprisonment for the beatings. Law enforcement personnel said the one-inch-by-four-inch board had a handle and the phrase "Mr. Act Right" written across it, according to information police received from Theresa Brantley.
The temporary protective order in Ouachita Parish was filed Wednesday afternoon, after the murders.
News-Star reporters Laura Johnson and Stephen Largen contributed to this story.