Actor Robert Crayton killed his family in a murder-suicide

On Saturday January 7, 2023, police were called to the Crayton home in High Point, North Carolina.  It was 7.05am and two people had run from the house, screaming for help.

When police forced their way into the home, they found five family members dead.

Robert Crayton Jr., 45, fatally shot his wife and three children before dying from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The victims were identified as Athalia Crayton, 46, Kasim Crayton, 18, Nyla Crayton, 16 and Nasir Crayton, 10.

The two people who had run screaming from the house was an older adult child of Athalia and Robert, as well as that child’s partner.  

High Point police officers said they had responded to Crayton home five other times since 2014.

Robert had also been involuntarily committed on January 3, 2022.   There is not too much info publicly available about that incident. 

“He was suffering from some mental illness,” High Point police Lt. Patrick Welsh said. “I can’t speak to the reason under the involuntary commitment. But we do believe it was taken out by the family.”

Just as some background into Robert, he was an actor.  According to his imdb page, he played roles including Peachy in Marvel’s “Ant-Man” movie, football star Warren Sapp on NBC’s “Young Rock” as well as roles on HBO’s “Ballers,” Disney’s “Safety” and many more.

Victor Joyner, COO of the Maultsby Talent Agency spoke about his relationship with Robert.

“We first met on set working on a project and remained tight since that period. Even as our career paths went in different directions we stayed in contact,” he said. “He was always a person to get sound advice. When you were down he would always have a word to lift you up.”

“We last spoke before Thanksgiving when I wanted to share some good news with him. He listened to what I had to say, gave me a word of encouragement and stated he was spending time with his wife who he loved dearly,” Victor recalled. “For what I know over the years, he loved his wife and his children. Even when he traveled for work he missed them and if he was hanging with them he would cut our talks short just so he could spend time with them.”

Coco Hillary, a former Appalachian State football player worked on a 2019 movie with Robert,

“We shot that movie before COVID,” Coco said. “The pandemic has affected everyone differently and you never know someone’s circumstances. Mental health is serious.”

The motive for this shooting is still unclear.  

“That’s going to be a piece of the investigation. I’ve expressed this to the family, we may never know why — what goes through the hearts and minds of a person who would do this sometimes dies with him,” Lt Welsh said. “We don’t have any indication right as to the ‘why.’ “

Athalia’s family have issued a statement. 

.Athalia Athena Crayton and her wonderful children; Nasir, Nyla, and Kasim, were a light to everyone they met. Their lives were taken too soon – yet their legacy lives on from the shores of Jamaica to the campus of NC A&T.

Athalia Athena Crayton, 46, is a Jamaican-American whose family originates from Kingston, Jamaica; she grew up in Miami and South Carolina. Athalia or “Art” as she is affectionately called by family and friends also lived in South Korea, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

Successful in so many aspects of her life – Athalia was a veteran, a Sergeant of the United States Army and served honorably in the Second Infantry Division as a Heavy Equipment Mechanic. In addition, she was a business owner, certified life coach, interior designer, and student at NC A&T University. Most importantly she was a dedicated mother to her children. “Her kind heart spills onto her children who she loves so much that she’ll go through hardship for a season to make sure that her children flourish”, is how her niece described Athalia as a mother.

Athalia poured her heart and soul into everyone she met, which is how she sustained so many friendships over decades. At her core, Art was an amazing mother, committed wife, loving sister, and honorable daughter. She was the “glue, and made every effort to bond together” her entire family. Her brother described her as “an incredible woman, she was everyone’s best friend.”


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