COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A Midlands woman is grieving the loss of seven family members in Mississippi.
Along with a sheriff's deputy, they were killed during the weekend after a domestic dispute. A family is now entangled in a shooting rampage that left eight people dead.
The first victim was Lincoln County Sheriff's Deputy William Durr.
The other seven were all family members, all related to Golda Kraus of Columbia.
"What this all boils down to was domestic violence that boiled over into other people's lives," said Kraus.
Corey Godbolt is the accused shooter and Kraus's cousin. She said Godbolt's marriage was on the rocks.
"When his wife finally left him and she was down with her mother and she had finally made up her mind that she was not going to take it, I think that he snapped," said Kraus.
Police say the crime spanned three different locations.
Godbolt's wife able to escape from the first home, but at the gunman's next stop two teenage boys were killed including Golda's cousin, 17-year-old Jordan Blackwell.
"Jordan jumped on top of one of the nephews. The little boy said every time he shot – he shot them five times – and every time he shot them he said he could feel Jordan's body jerk. So, he protected that young man," said Kraus.
At the third home, Kraus's niece and her husband were killed.
"We were very close. She was a woman of God, too," said Kraus.
Even more upsetting, Kraus said she believes this could have all been prevented.
"He was calling out for help with all the times that he was in trouble with the police. We have to do something about domestic assault and abuse. We have to do something about mental health and gun control. We have to."
Kraus is now in Mississippi helping with funeral arrangements.