• Suspect fired, arrested in weeks before Clay triple murder

    By: Brittney Donovan

    Updated:

    Murray Lancaster had been fired and arrested in the months before he shot and killed his ex-wife, ex-girlfriend and ex-girlfriend’s father and then himself in Green Cove Springs Tuesday morning.

    Lancaster, 40, was the nephew of a former Clay County sheriff and son of a city commissioner.

    Deputies said Lancaster worked at Georgia-Pacific saw and paper mill in Putnam County before he was fired last week.

    He and ex-wife Erica Green had two children together before they divorced in 2014. Green was soon-to-be remarried.

    Lancaster dated ex-girlfriend Valorie Short for approximately two years. She had two children from a previous relationship. 

    Lancaster and Valorie Short got into a fight on March 15 after Lancaster tried to drive while drunk.


    Document: Lancaster arrested for domestic violence, resisting arrest


    Valorie Short told deputies Lancaster shoved her against a pole and held her against it with his arm.

    Her father Buddy Short saw what was happening and yelled at Lancaster to get his hands off Valorie Short.

    Her father and Lancaster began yelling at each other and were about to fight, Valorie told deputies.

    Lancaster lunged at officers with his fists balled when they came to the home to investigate.

    He was arrested and charged with battery and resisting officers without violence.

    Valorie Short filed a restraining order March 17. It barred Lancaster from coming within 500 feet of Short.


    Document: No contact order filed against Lancaster


    Deputies said Lancaster was arrested for violating Valorie’s injunction sometime before he showed up at her work on Tuesday.

    The salon owner said Lancaster held up the salon at gunpoint before abducting Valorie Short.

    Lancaster took her to her father’s workplace, where he shot and killed them both.

    He then went to the Rosemary Hill landfill, where his ex-wife worked, and shot and killed her, deputies said.

    Lancaster contacted family members on Facebook and tried to go see his children at their school after the shootings.

    SWAT team members surrounded him at his home on Idlewild Avenue and found him dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound hours after the shooting.

    Deputies said they are looking into a domestic situation involving his ex-wife and ex-girlfriend that happened sometime before the shootings.

    They said they believe his motive in the killings could have had something to do with the divorce or custody of the children. 


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