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Police: Wyo. man fatally shot his 3 kids, brother

July 8th, 2011 5:35 pm by BEN NEARY

WHEATLAND, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming man was due in court to face charges Friday after police say he killed his three sons and his adult brother and wounded his wife in a string of shootings the day before at a mobile home park.

Police allege a man shot and killed his three sons and his adult brother and wounded his wife in a mobile home park in southeast Wyoming.

The shootings were reported just before 6 p.m. Thursday. Responding officers arrested Everett Conant, who is in his mid-30s, after a brief standoff, Wheatland Police Chief Randy Chesser said.

"We don't know what the motive is at this point for sure," Chesser said Friday.

Conant was being held in the Platte County jail. No charges had been filed, but a preliminary hearing was planned later Friday.

Jail officials said they had no record of whether Conant had an attorney.

Police didn't release the victims' names. But Cheyenne Regional Medical Center spokesman James Watson said a woman named Suzette Conant was admitted to the hospital Thursday and was in good condition Friday.

Public records show she shares the same address as Everett Conant.

Chesser said the woman was shot in the ankle and shoulder. He didn't know if the three boys were Everett Conant's biological children.

Everett Conant worked briefly at the Wyoming Premium Farms hog farm just north of Wheatland this spring but quit after mentioning problems arranging child care, said Doug Derouchey, the general manager.

"Kind of kept to himself," Derouchey said.

"He just mentioned something about he was having difficulties kind of working it out time-wise," Derouchey said. "He was, I think, having problems elsewhere."

Suzette Conant works at an A&W restaurant in Wheatland, said Beth Horsley, her co-worker.

"She is the nicest person in the world. She didn't do anything to anybody," Horsley said.

A collection jar was set up at the A&W for donations for Suzette Conant's medical care and the family's funeral costs.

Jessica Kornder, who lives in the same mobile home park as the Conants, said she heard a disturbance Thursday and saw a woman with wounds to her arm and foot.

"I was in the kitchen doing some dishes after supper and I heard these two 'pows,' and I thought it was fireworks. And then I heard this awful screaming," Kornder said.

Kornder said she ran out with towels to put on the woman's wounds.

"She kept screaming at me that her babies were dead, 'He killed my babies,'" Kornder said. Kornder said she didn't know the woman's name.

Kornder said her 8-year-old son played kickball, tag and videogames with the Conant children.

Wheatland is a farming and ranching community of about 3,600 at the edge of the plains, not far from the Laramie Mountains. It is about 70 miles north of Cheyenne.

"It's just a very tragic thing," Wheatland Mayor Jean Dixon said. "It's hard to comment on something that just never occurs around here. It's like, 'How can it happen?' This is a small community. We all know each other. It's just tragic."

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Associated Press writers Mead Gruver in Cheyenne, and P. Solomon Banda, Catherine Tsai and Colleen Slevin in Denver contributed to this report.

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