A mass killing that devastated the tiny town of Elkmont in September 2019 moved forward in the justice system last week when the boy who authorities say confessed to the shooting deaths of his five family members was charged as an adult.
The Limestone County Sheriff’s Office said deputies arrested Mason Wayne Sisk, 15, who had been held in a juvenile detention facility since the shootings, at 2:55 p.m. Thursday on four counts of capital murder.
The victims, according to Limestone County sheriff's spokesman Stephen Young, were the shooter's father John Wayne Sisk, 38; his stepmother Mary Sisk, 35; his 6-year-old brother; his 5-year-old sister; and his 6-month-old brother. The shootings took place at the family home, 25019 Ridge Road.
Mason Sisk, who was 14 at the time of the shootings, was transferred to the Limestone County Jail at 5:34 p.m. Thursday with no bail, according to jail records.
Young said the defendant was charged with three counts of capital murder of a victim under 14 years of age and one count of capital murder of two or more people.
Limestone County District Attorney Brian Jones on Friday said his office filed a motion in juvenile court to have the case transferred to adult court.
“His case has been transferred. That has been granted,” he said. “He won’t need to have a probable cause hearing, and his case has been waived to the next grand jury.”
Jones had no further comment, saying he was limited in what he can say about juvenile court proceedings.
He said COVID-19 issues have closed both Limestone County courthouses, and he is uncertain when the next grand jury might be convened.
The teen’s case was initially handled by the juvenile system, and his name was not released until after he was arrested Thursday. In September 2019, authorities charged the defendant with five counts of juvenile murder and he was placed in a juvenile detention center.
Young said at a news conference shortly after the Sept. 2, 2019, shootings that the defendant called 911 at 10:55 p.m. on the day of the shootings.
“(The defendant) met deputies in the driveway and told them that he had been in the basement of the home and heard gunshots from the main level of the home upstairs,” Young said then.
Young said investigators noticed discrepancies in his story.
“Upon being confronted with some of the inconsistencies, he did admit to shooting the five family members,” Young said at the news conference last year.
The teenager later helped investigators find the 9mm handgun used in the shootings, and it was on the side of a nearby road where he had tossed it, Young said.
The handgun was in the residence illegally, Young said, but he did not elaborate.
Limestone County Coroner Mike West pronounced three of the victims dead in the residence and two other victims, an adult and juvenile, were initially in critical condition and were airlifted to Huntsville Hospital and Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham, the Sheriff's Office said, but later died.
All five victims lived with the alleged shooter in the residence. According to court records, the family had resided at the address since at least April 2016.
John Sisk worked at KV RV Repairs in Hartselle. Mary Sisk was a seventh-grade special education teacher with Huntsville City Schools.