Law enforcement looking for answers in murder-suicide in Carlton

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 April 2023 at 3:19 pm

Provided photo: There is police tape on an orchard on Kendrick Road in Carlton while an investigation continues into a murder and suicide on Sunday, where a father killed his 14-year-old son and then took his own life.

ALBION – Orleans County law enforcement officials are trying to determine why a father from Lockport killed his son and then took his own life.

Henry Frank “Hank” Spoon Jr., 39, was a Marine Corps veteran who served in the Iraq War. Friends of his posted on the Orleans Hub Facebook page that he suffered from PTSD from the war. Despite his actions on Sunday, his friends say he dearly loved his 14-year-old son, Shawn.

District Attorney Joe Cardone said law enforcement has interviewed Spoon’s family and they are surprised by his actions and didn’t see any signs he was a threat of such violence.

“This is just a horrible tragedy,” Cardone said today at the Public Safety Building in Albion.

Law enforcement has recovered cell phones that Spoon threw out of the car before reaching an orchard in Kendrick Road, where the father and son died.

Cardone said law enforcement also will be looking at a tablet and computer from Spoon, to try to determine what was going through his mind.

The DA also will reach out the VA to see if mental health counselors can provide any insight about Spoon.

“We’re getting results on that data,” he said.

Sheriff Chris Bourke also said Spoon tossed a 20-by-20 party tent out of the vehicle and that tent landed in the front yard of a homeowner on Harris Road in Carlton.

Spoon appears to have picked the orchard at random. Bourke said the orchard owner did not know Spoon.

The Sheriff’s Office and Orleans County District Attorney’s Office also are working on the investigation with the Major Felony Crime Task Force, the Lockport Police Department, the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, the State Police, and the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Shawn Spoon was a student at Lockport High School. The district is making grief counseling available next week when students returns to school.

Grief counseling also is available today from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Lockport Family YMCA at 5833 Snyder Drive, Lockport’s Superintendent of Schools Mathis Calvin III advised the community in a message on the district website.