CHESTERFIELD, Va. (PIX11) – A Virginia man who allegedly killed his wife and two children on Father’s Day sent out a series of bizarre texts and social media posts leading up to the murders, his friend says.
Barry C. Jernigan, 35, who went by Chris, confided in close friend Courtney Winn that his wife, Renotta, wanted a divorce. Winn told police Jernigan’s wife was upset by his inability to keep a job and she “was over it.”
Jernigan’s twisted frustration appeared in chilling Facebook posts and texts to his friends on Father’s Day, police said, but help came too late that evening to prevent their deaths. Before he killed his wife, his two-year-old son Seth, nine-year-old daughter Alexis and later pulled the gun on himself, according to WTVR, he sent a final text: “Goodbye everyone.”
The alarming messages started earlier that Sunday, according to Winn.
“I wanted to tell you that I am sorry,” Chris texted her. “I really am sorry for misjudging you. You are a great friend to Renotta. You’ve been there for her when I never was and I thank you for that. That is all I have to say so take it as you want.”
“Hating her is the only way I can breathe on my own. I guess I can say is that I love to hate her and hate loving her.”
Courtney tried to warn her friend of the disturbing messages and police began tracking Jergen’s work phone.
A patrol car drove to the family’s house around 10 p.m., but it was too late — officers and neighbors listened in horror as multiple gunshots popped inside the home.
One neighbor, a former marine, ran inside the home and said he found Chris Jernigan with a single gunshot to the head, the weapon still in his hand. His young son in a nearby room covered in blood.
“It was the worst thing I ever saw, made my heart broken,” said Gary Nguyen.
Jernigan died at the scene, the little boy would be pronounced dead at an area hospital.