Ripley County Man Accused of Murdering His Father

DONIPHAN, MO (KAIT) -- "He had spent some time in a mental institution for a while. Apparently, the family maybe felt like he was doing alright. I don't know, evidently something just snapped," said Ripley County Sheriff, Ron Barnett.

Ripley County Sheriff Ron Barnett says 21-year-old Bryan Portwood Jr. is in jail being held on a list of charges including first degree murder. Police say Portwood Jr.  walked into his house just north of Doniphan around 9:00 Sunday night. Police say first he shot his father, then turned the gun on his stepmother. She made it out of the house, but police found Portwood Jr.'s  father dead in his chair, with a single gunshot to the neck.

"The female was on the outside of the house that apparently had been shot in the house but had jumped out of a bedroom window. She had been shot through the chest on the right side. It went all of the way through her," said Barnett.

Police say Portwood Jr. then left the home. Police arrested him a short time later on Highway 160 near Doniphan.

"When they did apprehend the vehicle, there was a rifle in the vehicle," said Barnett.

Police say they believe that was the murder weapon.  At this point, police say they aren't sure of an exact motive. They say this is not Portwood Jr.'s first run in with the law.

"About a year ago, previous to this, we had an incident out there to where we apprehended him on a gravel road walking with a firearm," said Barnett.

At home during Sunday night's deadly shooting... a 6-year-old boy. Police say a family member who lives nearby heard the gunshots, then came running. They found the boy sitting on the front porch...unharmed.

Portwood Jr.'s step mother is being treated in a Southeast Missouri hospital.