Michigan dad shoots son, 3, in murder-suicide after drawing up 'kill list'

Michigan father had 'kill list' of his wife's relatives amid their divorce battle

Photo of Angela Mulka
Derek Thebo fatally shot his 3-year-old son Dylan before turning the gun on himself.

Derek Thebo fatally shot his 3-year-old son Dylan before turning the gun on himself.

GoFundMe

A Michigan father fatally shot his 3-year-old son before killing himself after creating a "kill list" of his wife's relatives amid their divorce battle.

Derek Thebo, 32, is alleged to have told his estranged wife, Katie, that he would kill her and her children, according to a police protection order filed in March of this year with the Kent County Circuit Court obtained by FOX 17. Katie also had a daughter from a previous relationship.

"He threatened to kill me, my children and my family, and to commit suicide afterward," Katie wrote in a court document. "He rattled off the names of my family members and said he knew where they worked, he knew when they were home and that we could get to them and hurt them."

Thebo and the couple's 3-year-old son, Dylan, were found dead in the family home in Lowell Township last week by sheriff's deputies conducting a welfare check.

“A family member called our dispatch center saying that they were a little concerned about their family members, they had not heard from them in a couple of days,” said Sgt. Joy Matthews with the Kent County Sheriff's Department in a statement.

Officers were sent to the home on Barnsley Road around 7:30 p.m on Wednesday, Sept. 1. Matthews says autopsies conducted Thursday ruled that Thebo shot and killed his son before turning the gun on himself.

Thebo was going through divorce and child-custody proceedings.

Court records show Katie had a personal protection order against Derek Thebo earlier this year. It was granted on March 8 and officially terminated on March 22 when the estranged couple reached an agreement for a mutual restraining order.

Despite there being a mutual restraining order in place, Katie claimed in documents that she received a gift for Mother's Day including the chilling message, "You will be my last."

When it came to the threatening messages, Derek denied it or said he didn't mean it, according to FOX 17.

In divorce documents, Derek stated there is nothing he loved more than his son.

Ultimately, what happened is exactly what Katie feared would happen as outlined in the court documents.

Katie created a GoFundMe page to raise money for Dylan's funeral. She says that she did not have life insurance for him. Dylan loved the show "Paw Patrol" and cheering his older sister Alaina on at her soccer games.

"He couldn't wait until he was old enough to play soccer himself," Katie wrote on the GoFundMe page. "We are all absolutely devastated and there are no words to describe how much Dylan will be missed by all who knew him."

A YouTube video, below, shared to the fundraiser page shows Dylan riding his bike and singing.

If you want to donate, visit here