The teenager called 911 to say he’d heard gunshots upstairs while in the basement.

The 14-year-old repeated the story to deputies who arrived early Tuesday morning, as they took stock of a horrific scene inside the home in Elkmont, Ala. Five people had been shot, the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office said. Three were dead, while two were airlifted to hospitals in critical condition.

But the teen’s story was inconsistent, sheriff’s office spokesman Stephen Young said Tuesday — and when investigators pressed in an interview, the teen confessed: He had shot his father, stepmother and three siblings Monday night.

By Tuesday morning, all the victims were dead, the sheriff’s office said.

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It was “a tragedy on a scale that we’re not used to here in Limestone County, Alabama,” Young told reporters.

“This is going to have a ripple effect among family, among friends, among the local community here in the Elkmont area,” he added, saying, “This affects all of us.”

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The teen, who has not been named and is being held in a juvenile detention center, is charged with five counts of juvenile murder. But he could face charges as an adult, Young said.

Investigators are still working to understand the teen’s motive, he said.

The victims, according to the sheriff’s office, are the teen’s 38-year-old father, John Sisk, his 35-year-old stepmother, Mary Sisk, his 6-year-old brother, his 5-year-old sister and his 6-month-old brother. Authorities have not named the children.

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The teen helped investigators find the 9mm handgun he said he used and then tossed at the side of the road, according to the sheriff’s office.

The gun was in the house illegally, according to Young, who said he could not provide more details.

A spokeswoman for the Limestone County School District said the teen is a student at Elkmont High School.

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Karen Tucker wrote in a statement that the district is “deeply saddened” by the events and that extra school counselors as well as counselors from the Limestone County Health Department will be available to help students, faculty and the community “for as long as there is a need.”

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