Malik Vincent Murphy suffered from mental illness, depression and thoughts of suicide but had been showing signs of improvement, according to a family friend who organized a fundraiser for the Murphy family.
The 19-year-old was attending Pikes Peak Community College and would often play with his four younger siblings, who range in age from 5 to 17. The day before he reportedly turned a knife on his youngest siblings, Sophia, 5, and Noah, 7, he had played football with them in the family's front yard in the 900 block of Carlisle Street, according to Eddie Brown, who said he grew up with the Murphys and had their permission to start a YouCaring fundraiser to raise money for the children's funeral arrangements.
"The family is coping the best way they can which is holding on to their faith," Brown wrote.
The account had raised more than $7,000 toward a $30,000 goal Wednesday afternoon.
The oldest of five siblings, Murphy is accused of turning a knife on his family about 1 a.m. Tuesday in an murder plot that police described as "extremely gruesome" and "horrific."
Murphy told police he wanted to be alone in his home when he stabbed his sister and brother, who both shared a room with him, arrest records said. He planned to kill the rest of his family and bury them in the backyard, records said.
When his father, Jefferson Murphy, who goes by "Vinnie", tried to intervene, Malik Murphy reportedly stabbed him in the neck. His father was able to hold him down until help arrived to prevent further attacks, records said.
The two young siblings died at the hospital. Jefferson Murphy is expected to recover.
On a Facebook page appearing to belong to Melissa Murphy, Malik's mother, she called the killing "so senseless, cruel, unfair, mean and UGLY."
Murphy is being held in El Paso County jail without bond on suspicion of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder. He appeared on video advisement Wednesday afternoon in a suicide smock, a thick, padded garment not easily torn or manipulated into a device of self harm. The smock is worn by inmates in a special part of the jail under increased supervision.
Murphy fiddled with his handcuffs and rubbed his arms while he waited. His family was not present.
Murphy's next court appearance was initially scheduled for Oct. 26 but was moved to 9 a.m. on Oct. 27, by request. County Judge Ann Rotolo did not say who made the request or why.
The court appearance was not the first indication that Murphy has been struggling with mental health issues. An Illinois attorney and Murphy's arrest records also said the same.
Murphy told police Tuesday he has had "homicidal idealizations" before, and his father said his son had "talked about doing this previously."
Murphy was arrested in Illinois in March after reportedly driving his parents' SUV there and setting it on fire. Witnesses said they saw Murphy watching it burn.
Charges were later dropped at Murphy's parents' urging. He was ordered to seek mental health treatment and take all of his medication.
Murphy has no other criminal background.
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