Teenager killed by mother was shot 10 times: ‘She emptied the pistol,’ sheriff says

Bond is set at $500,000 for Waco schoolteacher Sarah Elizabeth Hunt, 39
Bond is set at $500,000 for Waco schoolteacher Sarah Elizabeth Hunt, 39(Jail photo)
Published: Nov. 11, 2020 at 3:06 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 12, 2020 at 11:00 AM CST
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RIESEL, Texas (KWTX) - A Central Texas teenager who authorities say was shot to death by his mother was struck 10 times, but why she opened fire remains a mystery.

“We’ve talked with her several times and she’s despondent over her son’s death but won’t give anybody any explanation of why she did it,” McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said Wednesday.

The rest of her family, her father and mother and others to whom investigators have spoken since Garrett Hunt, 17, died from gunshot wounds inside a minivan Monday near Riesel, say they have never seen a violent side of Elizabeth Hunt, 39, Garrett’s mother.

“Her father told me she was a model child, loving and caring, and that she grew into that kind of woman,” McNamara said, “and that he couldn’t imagine what might have happened to her.”

McNamara said the shooting makes very little sense.

“She picked (Garrett) up at his father’s home and started toward (Riesel High School) because it was the first day and she was going to register him,” McNamara said.

“Then she pulled over, got out of the car, stepped back and shot the boy dead,” he said.

“She emptied the pistol into his body, 10 rounds. He never had a chance.”

"She said she didn’t know why she did it, but I say you can’t shoot someone 10 times with a 40-caliber handgun and not know why you’re doing it.

“One shot, maybe, but not 10, and the gun was empty because the slide was locked back.”

Hunt was a fifth-grade teacher at a local Montessori school.

After the shooting she walked back to Riesel, encountered two people near the Riesel Square, and told them her son needed help and was “with her mother in heaven,” an affidavit released Tuesday afternoon says.

“What have I done…this is not real,” she told the two people, the affidavit says.

Later, under questioning about what happened, “she would respond by sobbing, saying ‘I didn’t mean to, I didn’t mean to,’” the affidavit says.

Hunt remained in the McLennan County Jail Wednesday where she’s held in lieu of $500,000 bond charged with murder.

A passerby spotted Hunt’s white Hyundai minivan on a roadside just before 8 a.m. Monday near the Lions Club facility at 1270 East Frederick St. and called Riesel police.

Authorities found Garrett inside, dead of multiple gunshot wounds.

“When law enforcement found the vehicle, all the doors were closed, the windows were rolled up, and the vehicle was running,” the affidavit says.

Authorities found multiple .40 caliber cartridge cases on the ground on the driver’s side of the minivan and found a .40 caliber pistol inside the vehicle along with a spare magazine.

No one else was in the vehicle, the affidavit says.

“At this point we don’t have a motive, we don’t know what happened, we don’t know what led up to this, it’s a big mystery, and that’s what we’re trying to determine, what caused this,” McNamara said Monday.

“We just don’t know at this point.”

“It’s a very sad, tragic situation, I don’t know how else to describe it,” he said.

“We’re going to be working overtime trying to sort this one out.”

The family recently moved to the area, authorities said earlier.

Riesel ISD was aware of the incident.

“We have been working with Riesel PD on this matter and the person in question had not started school here. We will cooperate fully with the investigation. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all involved,” Superintendent Brandon Cope said in an email Monday.

WISD officials said Monday once they contact Hunt, she’ll be placed on administrative leave and be given the opportunity to resign.

If she doesn’t resign, they said, the district will begin the process to terminate her probationary contract.

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