A Cajah’s Mountain-area man has been charged in the shooting death of his 2-year-old son, the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office said.

Michael Dale Summerow, 38, is accused of shooting his girlfriend, Ashley Ladwan Johnson, about 11:40 p.m. Friday before turning on their toddler son, Elijah, at their mobile home on Pope Lane, Capt. Aaron Barlowe said. Barlowe declined to comment on what Summerow’s motive might have been.

Haley Mitcham, a neighbor, described Elijah Summerow as a happy child and said that at times she saw him playing outside.

She said she had just put her own son to bed Friday evening when she heard gunshots.

Dale Summerow, Michael Summerow’s father, said has had a hard time going to sleep since learning about the shootings.

“It just breaks my heart thinking about it,” he said.

Michael Summerow, who shot himself in the head after shooting his son, was released from Mission Hospital on Wednesday into the custody of law enforcement officers, who brought him back to Caldwell County.

He was charged with murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.

Summerow has no previous felony convictions in North Carolina, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.

Reporter Kara Fohner can be reached at 828-610-8721.

Reporter Kara Fohner can be reached at 828-610-8721.