Man Fatally Shoots Pregnant Sister and Brother-in-Law at Picnic

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On September 4, 2023, a serene Labor Day family picnic in the Cleveland suburb of Maple Heights turned tragic. 

Jason D. Iverson, 29, is alleged to have shot and killed his sister, Mercedes Iverson-Carter, 30, who was recently married and pregnant. The incident also claimed the life of her spouse, Trea “Norbert” Carter, 31, at Stafford Park. The couple, who had been married for less than a year, were expecting a daughter they planned to name Ava.

Reports say that Iverson arrived at the park near Mayville Avenue and Beverly Avenue and became involved in a heated argument with Mercedes. 

By 3:15 pm, the Maple Heights Police Department received a call about the altercation. The situation escalated when Iverson noticed other family members at the park, resulting in immediate physical confrontations, according to a statement.

In an effort to distance themselves from the ongoing dispute, Mercedes, her husband, and Iverson’s 13-year-old son — who was under the couple’s care — decided to leave. However, as they approached their vehicle in the parking lot, an enraged Iverson reportedly followed and began firing several shots. During this terrifying assault, a bullet grazed the face of Iverson’s son.

After Mercedes Iverson-Carter was incapacitated by the attack, Trea Carter tried to evade the gunfire by fleeing to a park restroom. However, his attacker pursued him there and fatally shot him. Law enforcement reported that while Carter was declared dead at the scene, Mercedes and her unborn child were taken to a nearby hospital, where they too were pronounced dead. Fortunately, the 13-year-old was treated for his injuries and later released.

Responding promptly, the Maple Heights Police Department apprehended Iverson as he tried to exit the park on foot. In a statement, Maple Heights Police Chief Todd Hansen emphasized that the violence was not random and was specifically targeted at the victims. He assured the public that the situation was quickly controlled following the shooter’s arrest. Past disputes between the defendant and his sister were hinted at as a potential motive for the tragedy.

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