Boyle County Sheriff LeeRoy Hardin said no motive for the shootings is being released, but that officers had been called to the home before.
"We've been out there several times over the years on domestic calls involving the son and the father," said Hardin. "I never thought it would come to something like this, though. It's never been anything real serious, just an argument that had usually ended by the time we got there."
Hardin said Robert Franklin was a long-time bus driver for the Boyle County school system and had worked as a custodian there.
"He was a good man," said Hardin. "I've known him a long time."
Trooper Chris Lanham said Saturday there was no indication that drugs or alcohol played a part in the incidents. "All four bodies will undergo autopsies, but until then, we're not prepared to speculate," he said. "We are not discounting any possibility."
According to Lanham, Timothy Franklin first shot his father in the chest inside their home about 7:30 p.m. with a 9 mm handgun. Leaving a bloody trail, Robert Franklin then staggered about 60 feet to the small home shared by his brother and sister-in-law. Robert Franklin apparently collapsed on their porch, where his son shot him in the head. Timothy Franklin then entered his aunt and uncle's home and shot both to death in their living room.
At that point, Lanham said police believe Timothy Franklin stole his father's red pickup and left the scene.
Hardin did not release the name of the person who first called police about the shootings, but Doug Phillips, a self-described friend of Timothy Franklin, told a reporter he took the call from Timothy Franklin and alerted police.
Lanham said once police learned what Timothy Franklin was driving, law enforcement agencies throughout the state were alerted.
But Timothy Franklin himself let police know where he was.
Lanham said a person he would only identify as a "bystander and friend of the family," but who later identified himself at Phillips, was at the murder scene with police when he was called on his cell phone by Timothy Franklin. Trooper Wright was able to speak with Timothy Franklin, and with the help of a dispatcher in Richmond, police figured out the shooter was driving in LaRue County on U.S. 31E not far from Elizabethtown.
"About 10 minutes until midnight, (Timothy Franklin) called (Phillips) who was at the scene with police," said Lanham. "(Phillips) told police about the call, and Trooper Wright was then able to call him back. Wright attempted to convince Franklin he should turn himself in, and in the course of the conversation, Wright and the Richmond dispatcher were able to figure out Franklin's location based on some answers Franklin gave."
"At 1:19 a.m., Franklin was spotted after he had apparently wrecked the truck and had a flat tire," said Lanham. "He was stopped and inside the truck, and an officer from the Elizabethtown post ordered him to leave the vehicle with his hands up. He exited the truck quickly, an altercation ensued, and shots were fired by the trooper. Timothy Franklin was transported to Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown where he was pronounced dead on arrival."
The trooper who shot Franklin was identified as Dennis Oldham, a 15-year KSP veteran. Oldham was unavailable for comment Saturday.
KSP officers Wright, Lanham and Detective Monte Owens along with Boyle sheriff's deputies Isaacs, Wofford and (Warren) Lanham are involved in the investigation, which Hardin said is ongoing.
"We may never know what this was over," he said. "It's just a tragedy, that's for sure.