Two family members of Tres Peterson, 21, said he was “calm," never violent and the person who mediated family disputes.
His grandmother, Eleanor Peterson, and aunt, Monica Peterson, told News 5 they felt “numb” and were left “speechless” after learning Peterson was accused of killing three people before turning his gun on himself inside a Smith Avenue home in Canton Thursday.
“I feel like my heart’s been ripped out of my chest,” said Monica Peterson.
“Tres was not a monster,” she said.
Canton Police said Peterson shot and killed Cheyenne Calderon, her mother, and her mother’s boyfriend and then used a gun he had just purchased to kill himself.
Peterson and Calderon had recently broken up after dating for a few weeks, however, Peterson did not seem upset about the end of the relationship, according to Monica Peterson.
"I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to think. I have all of these unanswered questions,” she said.
“Something had to have happened... that he felt he needed to go and buy a gun and go do what he did,” she said.
Peterson’s past may provide some clues to potential problems.
Eleanor Peterson said her grandson had a “terrible” childhood.
Court records obtained by News 5 show the Stark County Department of Child & Family Services took custody of him and his younger brother away from his biological parents.
“They were abused and neglected. They weren’t beaten. They were neglected. They would go off and leave them,” she said.
The records also show Peterson's mother abused alcohol and his father spent time in prison after being convicted on domestic violence-related charges.