Mother and son murdered, suspect kills himself - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Mother and son murdered, suspect kills himself

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

An outbreak of violence in a normally quiet Orange Grove neighborhood ended with three people dead, a community in shock, and a lot of unanswered questions.

Authorities say they believe 70-year-old Paul Buckman killed 45-year old Karen Denise Ferguson and her 21-year old son Trevor Cole Ferguson before turning the gun on himself.

Monday afternoon around 2:00, a 5 year old boy ran out of his Kent Avenue home in Orange Grove, hitting on his neighbor's doors screaming that a bad man was hurting his mommy. Two female neighbors ran back with him to his house, they pushed the door open to find a man covered in blood holding a gun to a woman's head, then he turned the gun on them. That's when they say the boy's mother screamed and begged them to save her baby, so they grabbed the small boy, ran away and called police.

Gulfport Deputy Chief of Police Leonard Papania said, "We responded to a complaint of a disturbance up here on the 1200 block of Kent avenue when the officers arrived here ultimately we found two deceased adults."

Shot dead in their home was the 45 year old Karen Ferguson and her 21 year old disabled son Trevor. The grief stricken husband and father barely able to stand on his own after hearing the horrific news, is Reverend Les Ferguson. He is the pastor of the nearby Orange Grove Church of Christ in Gulfport.

Many of the members of his congregation arrived at the scene. As many of them sobbed, they consoled each other through absolute disbelief and heartbreak.

The two neighbors who had rushed the Ferguson's 5-year-son out of the home and away from harm, helped police figure out 70-year-old Paul Ellis Buckman was their suspect. Heavily armed police officers and SWAT teams in full gear knew he wasn't in the home anymore; they raced to find him and a motive.

Papania said, "Some sort of disturbance between them and that's what we're trying to find out now."

Once police ran Buckman's name and criminal history, the connection became clear. Less than three months ago, the Ferguson family filed sexual battery charges against Paul Buckman for allegedly molesting one of their family members. Police knew Buckman was armed and dangerous, so capturing him quickly was their top priority.

As they searched for Buckman authorities flooded the news and internet with his image.

Within two hours that manhunt led to the nearby Creekwood North apartment complex.

Clearing traffic along Oneal Road, authorities pulled out all the stops to find the suspect.  

Gulfport Police Chief Alan Weatherford said, "There was witnesses to the crime. A suspect was seen leaving the residence. That's how we were able to obtain his name so quickly."

After clearing out the other residents, police began a sweep of the apartment complex. When authorities entered Buckman's apartment, they found a gruesome scene.

Chief Weatherford said, "Paul Buckman, the individual we obtained warrants for today for the double murder, has been located deceased in his apartment."

Found in his bathtub, shot dead, Buckman's death is believed to be the result of a self inflicted gunshot wound.

Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove said, "Of course an autopsy is going to be pending on all three to make sure that the perpetrator is a self-inflicted wound and that the other two are not self-inflicted in fact, that they are homicide victims."

Authorities immediately began gathering evidence searching Buckman's apartment and took possession of his vehicle. While the violence appears to be over, the investigation into the deaths is only beginning.

Chief Weatherford said, "It's just a sad tragedy. You had a child there at the scene who was able to escape the residence who saw some of this activity. It's heart breaking for this community and just a difficult time for the family."

Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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