Sean LePore had a bright future behind the wheel of his Bandolero car, but his sudden death at the hands of his father shocked the Huntsville racing community.
That’s what Robbie Edger, owner of Huntsville Speedway, said Friday after the death of Sean, 11, in a bizarre case that ties investigators in two states.
Sean and his brother Jesse, 9, were the victims of an apparent murder suicide Thursday morning in Murfreesboro, Tenn., at the hands of their father Jamie, 46.
Jamie shot the two boys dead before turning his gun on himself inside a Murfreesboro home while cops tried to locate Jamie outside. Authorities got there after the body of the boys’ mother, Jennifer, was discovered at the family home in Hazel Green on Wednesday night.
Jennifer LePore, 44, has been a special education teacher at Hazel Green Elementary School since August 2022, and her two sons attended the schools in Hazel Green.
Racing was one of the family’s occupations. The Huntsville Quarter Midget Racing Association for kids ages 5 to 16 in the NASCAR Youth Series posted a reminder to the family on Facebook, calling the news “devastating.”
“Learning of a sudden death is never ‘easy’, but this horrific event is truly unimaginable,” the association said. “We would like to express our condolences to the LePore family and the affected families and drivers of the club. We will come together, as racing families always do, and support those who need it most. We will continue to honor Jennifer, Sean and Jesse as we race with them in our hearts.”
Edger said Sean drove a bandolero — a race car designed for drivers eight years and older that bridges the gap between the go-kart and a race car. Sean, he said, had raced in the eight-to-12 year competition for two years.
“He was really, really good,” he said. “He had a good team behind him. Sometimes he was unlucky on the track but he did really well.”
Sean won a 2022 state championship driving his Bandolero car, according to a social media post from Huntsville Speedway Alabama.
Edger said he has interacted with Sean and his father Jamie on a number of occasions. There was no indication of what appeared to have happened between them on Thursday, he said.
“I never would have thought that,” he said.
Edger said there was one occasion in particular when Jamie was “tough” and told Sean how he might have gained a position in one race. While it wasn’t abusive, he said it could have “destroyed their self-esteem” in any child.
“He was a stand-up kid, though,” he said. “A child of this age must still be a child.”
As for other racing families, the news about the LePores was devastating.
“It’s crazy,” he said. “It makes no sense. When we come together in the racing world, it’s a family.”