Gus Bennett, the son of Chino Valley special education teacher Robin Bennett, was found murdered Dec. 10 following an alleged domestic dispute in Mobile, Ala., where the 21-year-old was attending college.
According to police in Mobile, officers responded to a report of multiple people shot around 4:45 a.m. Dec. 10. Police found two people deceased at the scene and another individual near the scene who was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening gunshot wounds. That individual was later identified as Robert Sprinkle. Sprinkle, who later died from his wounds, is alleged to have shot the two victims before turning the gun on himself.
The deceased were identified as China Barber, a 20-year-old female, and Bennett.
Prescott resident Patti McCormick said she was close friends with the Bennett family, and that Gus Bennett was like a brother to her own kids.
"We loved the whole family and it was just a terrible tragedy," McCormick said. "These were people who could have contributed a lot to the world and it's a tragedy to see their life cut short."
Chino Valley Unified School District Superintendent Duane Howard said Robin Bennett has taken a leave of absence following news of the shooting.
"We're going to honor any time she needs," Howard said.
Gus Bennett lived and worked in the Prescott Valley area prior to moving to Mobile for college. Among other jobs, Bennett worked at the Prescott Valley Safeway in 2012, according to former coworker Danielle Camacho.
"He was very kind and sweet and a pleasure to work with," Camacho said.