Alabama teen accused of murdering his father, critically wounding 12-year-old brother

Posted at 5:04 PM, Aug 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-27 19:04:28-04

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - A domestic shooting in Alabama over the weekend ended with the father dead, a child injured, and a juvenile behind bars.

Deputies say they received multiple 911 calls about a dispute at the house on Barberry Lane in Toney Saturday afternoon.

Jeffrey Dale Wanca, 16, is charged with the murder of his father, 43-year-old Chad Wanca, and attempted murder of his 12-year-old brother, Hunter, who remains in critical condition at Children's Hospital of Alabama in Birmingham.

Police haven't said what led up to the double shooting, but Wanca's grandparents, Linda and Rick McNamara, told WAFF that the incident happened after their grandson was told to clean his room.

Wanca is charged as an adult and is in the Madison County Jail on a combined $200,000 bond and is set for a felon examination in court on September 4.

Deputies who responded to the 911 calls say they found the 16-year-old outside of the home. They say he walked toward them with his hands raised. He was later arrested after questioning.

Family members and several neighbors say there was dysfunction in the home, but not necessarily more than most families go through. Madison County Deputies are trained to respond to domestic incidences by always expecting the worst.

“We realize and we recognize that domestic violence and involuntary mental health commitments are the most dangerous situations that you go to," says Madison County Sheriff Office Spokesperson Lt. Donny Shaw.

Many people are saying Chad Wanca was doing his best as a single father raising two boys. His mother, Linda McNamara, says she still loves her grandson who is currently in jail and wants to help him, despite the circumstances.

"Chad was a good father. He loved his sons so much. He will be terribly missed by his family and his friends. Please pray for my grandsons, as they need all prayers and support they can get," said Linda McNamara.

The sheriff's office said they expect more details to come out in preliminary hearings as they work to find out what happened.

Madison County Sheriff Kevin Turner released a statement about the shooting Monday afternoon:

This is a tragic event for the family and the community.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wanca family and, especially Hunter.  Domestic violence is something that can affect any family regardless of income or race.  If anyone knows someone who is suffering as a victim of domestic violence, we ask them to please contact law enforcement.  See something, say something."

Community members are rallying together to pray for all involved, especially the 12-year-old shooting victim.

"It's a tragic incident for that family, for that community and for Madison County as a whole. We have a student that is not going to be going to Madison County schools. We have another one that is injured and will be some time before they go back to school," said Lt. Shaw.

Both juveniles are in the Madison County Schools system, which issued a statement saying that counselors would on hand to provide extra counseling hours as needed.

Advocates at the National Domestic Violence Hotline are available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year to talk confidentially with anyone experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship just call 1 (800) 799-7233.