RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) — The mother of Aschod Ewing-Meeks, the man accused of killing his girlfriend and their two children before setting their home on fire and killing himself, spoke out in Raleigh during a news conference centering on her son’s mental health and the possible impact of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Tiffany Meeks is working with Charlotte activist John C. Barnett to determine the next steps after the tragedy. In addition to Thursday’s news conference, there may also be a possible civil suit. The family plans to launch a foundation in his name.

Meeks says that her son’s prior head trauma from playing football may have played a role in the events that unfolded on April 18.

According to the Mayo Clinic, CTE is a rare disorder that is connected to head trauma though is not well understood:

“CTE has been found in the brains of people who played football and other contact sports, including boxing. It may also occur in military personnel who were exposed to explosive blasts. Some signs and symptoms of CTE are thought to include difficulties with thinking (cognition) and emotions, physical problems and other behaviors. It’s thought that these develop years to decades after head trauma occurs.”

Meeks says her son started playing football at an “early age” and played for the Southeast Raleigh bulldogs. She says he suffered his first concussion in 2011, another in 2012 and a third at a later date.

He received medical attention after these concussions, and Meeks says they made changes to help “the healing of his brain,” such as leaving blue lights in the room, limiting computer time and changing his diet.

In April 2021, Ewing-Meeks was hospitalized due to “his suicidal thoughts, his extreme paranoia and the nightmares and the trauma he was suffering.”

“Aschod couldn’t sleep,” Meeks said. “He was tormented by nightmares. I wanted to speak out and let you all know that my child was sick. I tried to get assistance for him. I asked, when I put him in the hospital last year, that his brain be scanned, if they would do a CT scan to see if he had CTE. I also request from the medical examiner to the pathologist that Aschod’s brain be scanned for CTE.”

In addition to describing the potential impact of CTE, Meeks said that this could have been avoided if the Davie County Sheriff’s Office and Mocksville Police Department had taken action sooner.

“There was a neglect on the part of the Davie County sheriff, the Mocksville Police Department,” Meeks said. “They’re not all bad police, but mistakes were made. Calls were made, addresses were given. If you call 911 and hang up, they’ll call back. if you call 911 and hang up again, they will show up. Davie County police department did not show up.”

Davie County Sheriff JD Hartman said they believe that Aschod Ewing-Meeks, 26, shot and killed his girlfriend Ashton Brown, 26, and their two children Bella, 4, and Brixx, 8 months, and then set their house on Junction Road in Davie County on fire and shot himself.

“I’ve seen a lot in 30 years,” Sheriff Hartman said during an earlier press conference, but he said that this case was “close to one of the worst if not the worst” he’d ever seen.

Hours before the shootings and the fire, Ewing-Meeks, Brown and the children came into the Davie County Sheriff’s Office. They were seen on a security camera speaking with the receptionist. According to the sheriff, they were vague about what they wanted but asked to see a deputy.

When the receptionist asked for information, they gave her an address on Gwen Street in Mocksville. This address belongs to Ashton Brown’s parents, according to the sheriff. The receptionist gave them a phone number to call and they left Davie County Sheriff’s Office at 12:15 p.m.

Brown later called 911, the first of multiple communications between the family and the sheriff’s office that day. Per the sheriff, all conversations were with Ewing-Meeks after the initial call. Meeks said he believed someone was following him.

Brown and Brixx Ewing-Meeks were found in the kitchen. Bella Ewing-Meeks was found in the doorway of a bedroom, and Aschod Ewing-Meeks was found at the end of the hallway leading to the kitchen. They had all been shot, and Meeks was still holding the gun.

The fire was intentionally set, but where the fire originated or how it was started has not been released. The SBI has taken evidence from the home to continue the investigation.