SALT LAKE CITY — A man who police say shot a Garden City couple and rammed his vehicle into their trailer before he was fatally shot by one of his victims made several angry posts on his Facebook page just an hour before the shootout.
About 1:50 p.m. Sunday, the Rich County Sheriff's Office received reports of an "active shooter" and "suicidal man" at the Sweetwater Trailer Park in Garden City. April Carnahan, 61, and Michael Carnahan, 72, were shot by Rick Bywater, who was firing into their trailer, according to police. Deputies believe the couple fired back from inside the home in self-defense, striking and killing Bywater.
Bywater had crashed his car into a trailer home, according to the Utah Department of Safety. He was found dead inside the vehicle when emergency crews arrived.
On several social media pages, Garden City residents, family members of the victims, friends of the gunman and the gunman himself made comments about the incident.
"You pushed me to the edge," is the last post on Rick Bywater's Facebook page. It was posted at 12:39 p.m. Sunday, about an hour and 10 minutes before the shootings were reported.
Bywater's page has several posts allegedly made by him starting approximately two hours before the shootings. He appears to be getting progressively more angry with each post, using many profanities and at one point calling out the two people who were later shot.
"Thanks to all my supporters and those that oppose me can kiss my , family or not," he wrote at 11:47 a.m. Sunday. "Live prosper and good luck. To all in the future, I did the best i could with what i had to work with, signing off "
At 12:02 p.m., Bywater addressed the couple who was later shot, expressing an intense dislike for them in a post and writing, "What comes around goes around."
Several people responded to Bywater's posts by encouraging him to "hang in there" or call them if he needed someone to talk to.
"Get some sleep! Don't run yourself ragged," one person posted.
"Rick, you are a good friend, and have always been there for anyone who needs a helping hand, sounds like you could use one now and we're here!" another responded.
"Rick don't forget how many people love you," another person posted. "Don't be alone. Call someone, call me, you need to talk to a friend and believe me you have many friends."
At 12:44 p.m., Bywater's last post on his Facebook page was a response to another post stating, "not gna mae it," believed to mean, "Not gonna make it."
Relatives of Kay and Mike Carnahan also made posts on their Facebook page Monday.
"Just a little update for everybody. My grandparents Kay Carnahan and Mike Carnahan were shot yesterday afternoon in their home in Garden City. They have both recently had surgery and are doing better. Thanks for everyone's love and concern for our family. We will update when we know more," wrote Kenna Rudd.
On Sunday, Kay Carnahan called her neighbor Diane Vaughn to warn her.
"We got a phone call saying to get a gun and get down. He was on his way," Vaughn said. Soon after that, she heard one shot followed by four more, she said.
Neighbors say the three previously were friends and that Bywater was a handyman for the homeowner's association in Sweetwater Park Community.
After word of the shootings spread, many returned to post on Bywater's Facebook page to note that the incident wasn't reflective of the man they knew.
"Never saw this coming sad sad sad. I hope Kay an mike recover well sending prayers to them," one person wrote.Comment on this story
"Today was not the person, I was friends with. I wish I would have listen better. You needed help and I missed it. You were a good man and today was not you. I'm sorry for everyone family, the people who were affected today. This was not Rick. RIP Rick. See you again some day," wrote another.
"I have never seen him so upset he would want to hurt anyone other than himself, everyone that knew him knew his demons but it was never pointed toward another person," another person posted.
Contributing: Annie Knox, Mike Anderson