POLK COUNTY, TN. (WRCB) -- A Polk County man admits he shot his aunt, uncle and cousin. But he claims it was the only way to protect his father.

Come January, a grand jury will decide whether to send him to trial for three counts
of first degree murder.

Prosecutors say George Steven Waters called 911 moments after a property dispute boiled over.

"I had to shoot them," Steven Waters tells a dispatcher. "They got my daddy down, and I had to shoot all of them. Please hurry!"

He and his father, George Waters, confronted his cousin, Doug Waters, while he was grading a gravel driveway aboard a tractor.

Doug Waters called 911 about ten minutes earlier, saying the two had guns.

In court Wednesday, two sheriff's investigators testified that Steve Waters told them that Doug Waters snatched his father's gun from him, and that Doug, and his parents, Wanda and Willard Waters, began beating his father with it.

Autopsy reports show Doug, Willard and Wanda Waters all died from head wounds.

But Steven Waters' lawyer maintains that other physical evidence may show that his client opened fire, after Doug Waters shot first.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story as they become available.