Foster Situation Ends in Deaths, Sheriff Says

     LAYTONVILLE, Calif. (CN) – A 19-year-old man was arrested Sunday after a midnight knife attack that left two dead and two hospitalized, the Mendocino County Sheriff said. The stabbings occurred in Laytonville, a community of 3,000 high in the Redwoods, about 160 miles south of San Francisco.
     Talen Barton admitted stabbing two men, a woman and a 17-year-old boy, killing one of the men and the boy, the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
     A teenage girl called 911 for help around 12:46 a.m. Sunday, then Barton took over the call and told the dispatcher he had stabbed the four victims, that two were dead and that two needed medical assistance, according to the sheriff’s statement. As deputies arrived at the home where the victims lay, the dispatcher talked Barton into putting down the knife and going outside, where he was arrested.
     Inside the home deputies found the bodies of Coleman Palmieri and his son, Teo. The other man and the woman were alive but seriously wounded, and were taken to hospital trauma centers by air ambulance.
     Coleman Palmieri and the injured man were brothers and the injured woman is their sister, officials said.
     The girl who called 911 and her teenage cousin were unharmed, officials said. One is the injured man’s daughter. Both girls have been placed in protective custody until they can be placed with other family members, officials said.
     The Sheriff’s Office has not released the names of the injured man and woman or the girls.
     The injured man and his daughter were both visiting the other members of the family from Newfoundland, Canada, officials said.
     Barton apparently is not part of the family.
     “The suspect was reported to have been in the foster placement system and had been living with the family on Meadow Lane for over a year. It is unknown if he was ‘officially’ placed with the family by a Child Protective Services Agency,” the Sheriff’s Department said.
     “The suspect admitted to being a heavy marijuana user but denied using any other controlled substances. There were no other controlled substances found at the scene,” the statement continued. “At this time there is no clear motive for the attacks.”
     A representative of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department was not available for comment late Tuesday.

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