CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Investigators said they are looking into what could have driven a man to kill a teenage girl, her friend’s father and then himself inside a home at a south Charlotte country club.
WSOC-TV anchor Allison Latos spoke with the suspect's father on Tuesday, just days after the crime. He said he believes his son, 23-year-old John Bocek, may have been driven by fear.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have not revealed how Bocek knew 16-year-old Kathleen Chaplin or why he shot and killed her father, Matthew Chaplin, and her 15-year-old friend, Jenna Hewitt.
Bocek’s father, also named John Bocek, said he tried to warn local police his son might hurt himself, but never thought he was capable of murder.
The elder Bocek showed Channel 9 the last text message his son sent him, around 1:30 a.m. Saturday, which read, "It ends tonight, Dad. I love you.”
“These were all mine, begging him, please don't do anything,” said the elder Bocek.
He said his son, who already had a felony record, feared going back to prison and said he snapped when he learned the girls involved were younger than he thought.
“I thought he was going to end his own life. I had no idea this tragedy would occur,” he said.
The elder Bocek said he immediately started driving to North Carolina from New York and tried to warn local authorities of his concerns, first reaching out to the Union County Sheriff’s Office. They confirmed the call but said they did not have an address to follow up.
The elder Bocek said he dialed the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, but the number wasn’t manned after business hours.
“It didn't give you an option to leave a message or speak to a human being,” he said. "If we could have got in touch with the police, because this was a day before this all took place, it could have been avoided.”
Police said that early Sunday morning, 23-year-old Bocek forced his way into the home on Glen Abbey Way where he fatally shot Matthew Chaplin and Hewitt. Hewitt's friend, Kathleen Chaplin, survived.
The elder Bocek said he has no idea how his son got the gun.
“As far as I'm concerned this case is not closed. It's obvious what happened, but the circumstances that led up to it need to come out,” he said.
His son was also wanted on warrants days before the murder for reportedly punching Kathleen Chaplin and stealing her phone.
CMPD released how officers were working to track him down following that assault.
On Friday, officials said Bocek's name was entered into a database informing police nationwide he was wanted.
That same day, CMPD’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Team started looking for the 23-year-old and worked with Gaston and Union County authorities, but their information showed he was on the move.
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