OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - Lee Road 390 or Ridge Road outside Opelika is quiet now, but Sunday afternoon red and blue lights filled the quiet community after reports of gunshots.
"It's a good community, you may hear of robberies, but nothing like this," explains neighbor Alisha Carmack.
A firearm was recovered at the home of 22-year-old Ricky Clark, where authorities found 47-year-old Bonnie Christine Partridge and 42-year-old Kenneth Wayne Partridge, both of Phenix City, dead of multiple gunshot wounds in the front yard.
"According to witnesses in the area, they indicated the individuals were in the front yard and (Clark) went back into the residence immediately after the shooting took place," says Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones.
After a five-hour standoff with police, authorities found Clark under his home dead.
Jones says they took precautions to ensure the safety of first responders, but believe Clark took his own life shortly after the incident.
"Based on the circumstances at the scene, we believe he took his life shortly after the shootings in the front yard. We don't think he was alive at the time our units were on the scene," explains Jones.
Even though all parties involved are deceased, the case is being prepared to be presented to a grand jury.
"Despite that fact, we want to make sure we have a grand jury review everything just to make sure there is not a situation where another individual that may have been," says Jones.
It's believed a custody issue over two children was at the center of the dispute. Authorities say the victims were involved in a custody battle over the children in court.
The Partridges are the maternal grandparents of the children involved, but Jones confirms there were no children present at the time of the incident.
Authorities are investigating the relationship between Clark and the Partridge's daughter.
"I never heard any bad things about them, just that they lived down the road," says Carmack.
Family members of the victim have set up a
[Note: We were told earlier by some family members that the GoFundMe page was a scam. However, the family has informed us that the page was set up by other family members without their knowledge and it is completely legitimate. We apologize to the family for this misunderstanding.]
Funeral arrangements have not been announced.