Man Confesses to Shooting, Killing His Family in Philadelphia Home, Sources Say

Maurice Louis, 29, was arrested and charged with four counts of murder in connection to the shooting deaths of his family

What to Know

  • Maurice Louis, 29, was arrested and charged with four counts of murder.
  • Louis is accused of shooting and killing his mother, step-father and two younger half brothers inside their West Philadelphia home.
  • Family members said Louis suffers from depression and schizophrenia. They also said he had not been taking his medication.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Maurice Louis purchased the shotgun with which he allegedly killed his family from a Northeast Philadelphia gun shop hours before the murders. The gun shop's owner talked to NBC10 by phone Thursday, telling a reporter "there is no way we can know if a person is mentally ill or not."

A man is accused of shooting and killing his family inside their West Philadelphia home. And, sources say, he confessed to buying the shotgun just hours earlier.

Maurice Louis, 29, was arrested and charged with four counts of murder in connection to the shooting deaths of his mother, 51-year-old Janet Woodson, his step-father, 56-year-old Les Holmes, and his two half-brothers, 18-year-old Sy-eed Woodson and 7-year-old Leslie Holmes.

Louis had purchased a shotgun, rode with it on the subway and then used the weapon to shoot each one of his family members in the head as they returned to their home Tuesday night on the 5000 block of Walton Avenue, sources told NBC10.

maurice louis
Philadelphia Police Department
Maurice Louis is accused of killing four family members in their West Philadelphia home. See Larger

When Janet Woodson and Les Holmes didn't show up to their job at a nursing facility Wednesday, their employer called 911 around 12:40 p.m. for a well-being check.

Police then responded to the home around 1:15 p.m. where they found the bodies of the four victims throughout the house. Janet Woodson's body was found by the front door, Les Holmes' body was found on the first floor by the basement door, Sy-eed Woodson's body was found in a rear bedroom on the second floor while Leslie Holmes' body was found in the kitchen, police said.

Louis was found drinking from a bottle of vodka and next to a rifle case in a second-floor bedroom and taken into custody, investigators said. Police also also said they found a weapon at the scene.

"They brought him out and he was handcuffed and he didn't have any clothes on," the family's neighbor, Bernadine Mills, told NBC10. "I said, 'Why are you taking him? He lives there.' And I didn't know until the ladies told me."

Wednesday night, police announced Louis had been charged with four counts of murder after he allegedly confessed to killing his family. He was arraigned on murder counts Thursday morning and held without bail. Court records don't list an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

Family members told NBC10 Louis had not been taking his medication at the time of the shooting, was depressed and has schizophrenia.

Loved ones gathered near the family's home where they prayed and comforted one another.

"I'm just hoping I wake up and this is all a bad dream," Renita Geddes, a family friend, told NBC10.

Residents described the family as well-known and well-liked in the neighborhood.

"They were a beautiful bunch of people from what I could see. From what I knew of them," the victims' neighbor, Regina Jones, told NBC10. "Just hardworking and just a normal family on the block."

Relatives said Woodson and Holmes got married in April 2018 and had recently taken their two youngest sons on a trip to Florida.

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