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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Family Murdered in California

Aired July 9, 2003 - 20:24   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: An elementary school vice president (sic) from Bakersfield, California, is in custody tonight in North Carolina; 41-year-old Vincent Brothers has been arrested in connection with the shooting deaths of his estranged wife, mother-in-law and three children. They were found dead in their home yesterday.
Police say Brothers turned himself in last night to authorities in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, where he was visiting his mother. Police from Bakersfield say they will seek to extradite Brothers once they have an arrest warrant on five counts of murder.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC MATLOCK, BAKERSFIELD POLICE CHIEF: Our hearts go out to the family. I was familiar with the family. They're very loved in the community. And in my 33 years of experience with this department, this is the most serious crime that we have ever experienced.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: I'm joined now by Donny Waddell Sr. and his children, Donny Jr., Samwell (ph) and Latania (ph). Waddell is a friend of Vincent Brothers. The children attend the school where Brothers works as a vice president -- or principal, that is.

Welcome. Thank you very much for joining us at this difficult time.

Mr. Waddell, when you heard this news, what was your reaction?

DONNY WADDELL SR., FRIEND OF VINCENT BROTHERS: Well, it was just unbelievable. I didn't think I would be able to cope with what they was trying to say about him. But, just like I said, I don't think he did it, whatever they're saying.

ZAHN: How well did you know him?

WADDELL: Well, I've known him for about the last three years. I have three children that attend the school. And we got -- I do a lot of volunteer work at the school. And I know him pretty well.

ZAHN: And just, if you would, further describe what he was like, how he seemed to interface with his family.

WADDELL: Well, he talked like a family man, because, sometimes, he would bring the conversation up about him, his wife and his kids. And it seemed like he was having a great time with them, to me. That's the way he talked at school when I talked to him.

ZAHN: So, he never let on to you that there were any problems at home?

WADDELL: No, he didn't -- he didn't act like or seem like there was any problems at home at all.

ZAHN: Latania, he was your vice principal for a while. What did you think of him?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that he was kindness -- and he was nice. And the way he -- the way we knew him, he was friendly to us.

ZAHN: And Mr. Waddell, we have heard your reaction to this news. Can you share with us how other members of your community are reacting to tonight's news that he has been in fact arrested for the murders of his family members?

WADDELL: Well, most of us are shocked beyond belief. We still can't imagine that he would do something like that to his family, because he had a lovely wife. And his wife was one of my older children's teacher.

ZAHN: Well, we are going to have to leave it there this evening. Donny Waddell Sr., Latania, thank you for spending a little time with us.

WADDELL: Thank you.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: I know shockwaves are going through your community and it wasn't easy to...

WADDELL: Our condolence to the family.

ZAHN: Yes, absolutely. We're all feeling that tonight.

Again, thanks for your time tonight.

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