Spring (TX)

Man Kills 4, Wounds 1 of His Children, Kills 2 Adults and Finally Surrenders: UPDATE

The sheriff’s department said precinct deputy constables were called to the house in the northern Houston suburb of Spring about 6 p.m. Wednesday and found two adults and three children dead. Another child later died at a hospital.

Killed were two boys, ages 4 and 14; two girls, ages 7 and 9; a 39-year-old man; and a 33-year-old woman, said [Harris County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Thomas] Gilliland. The gunman and his wife are estranged, and she was out of state, Gilliland said. Two of the dead children were adopted, he said.

“These children were all their children,” he said of the suspect and his wife.

“It appears this stems from a domestic issue with a breakup in the family, from what our witness has told us,” Assistant Chief Deputy Constable Mark Herman of the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office told reporters. He did not explain further.

…Gilliland said the teenager was in “very critical condition” at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston late Wednesday night.

After the 15-year-old survivor told deputies that her father was headed to her grandparents’ home, they were able to pass along the warning, he said.

Authorities said the teen’s information also helped them intercept the suspect. The suspected gunman then led authorities on a chase, with nearly two dozen deputy constables’ patrol cars following him into a cul-de-sac shortly before 7 p.m. There, the suspect’s boxed-in vehicle remained for hours. Finally, about 10 p.m., after hours of waiting and negotiations, the man emerged from his car, raised his hands and sank to his knees as deputies placed him under arrest.

During that time, Gilliand said, there were “two hours of constant talking with a man armed with a pistol to his head and who had just killed six people.”

Gilliland described the man as in his 30s with a beard “and cool as a cucumber.” He said that when he and other officers first approached, the man was “just sitting in his car looking out at us.”

6 dead, 4 children, in suburban Houston shooting. Houston Chronicle, 7/9/2014.

UPDATE:

Ronald Lee Haskell, 33, faces the death penalty for multiple counts of capital murder.

The heavy-set blond man was in the custody of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office following an hours-long standoff with dozens of officers, including a SWAT team and hostage negotiators, late Wednesday.

…Haskell forced his way into the home of his ex-wife’s sister in the Houston suburb of Spring by dressing as a FedEx delivery man, according to police.

He demanded to see his ex-wife, Melannie Haskell.

But when she was not present, Haskell reportedly tied up the family’s five children — two boys aged four and 13 and three girls aged seven, nine and 15 — while waiting for the parents to return home.

Once husband and wife Stephen Stay, 39, and Katie Stay, 33, returned, they were also tied up.

Haskell then shot each member of the family in the back of the head execution-style.

The 15-year-old teenager survived but was in critical condition. She managed to tell police where Haskell was headed before being airlifted to the hospital, adding the gunman intended to kill her grandparents as well.

…During the standoff, the shooter sat in his vehicle surrounded by about 50 police with their guns drawn. There were at least a dozen patrol cars waiting to pounce.

Haskell’s February divorce was difficult, according to court documents from Cache County in the southern state of Utah where he lived.

He was considered a “threat” to the couple’s children.

In 2008, Haskell was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, simple assault and committing an act of violence in front of children, according to local media.

Houston killer who shot six members of his ex-wife’s family had history of domestic violence. Agence France-Presse/The Raw Story, 7/11/2014.

Man Kills 4, Wounds 1 of His Children, Kills 2 Adults and Finally Surrenders

The sheriff’s department said precinct deputy constables were called to the house in the northern Houston suburb of Spring about 6 p.m. Wednesday and found two adults and three children dead. Another child later died at a hospital.

Killed were two boys, ages 4 and 14; two girls, ages 7 and 9; a 39-year-old man; and a 33-year-old woman, said [Harris County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Thomas] Gilliland. The gunman and his wife are estranged, and she was out of state, Gilliland said. Two of the dead children were adopted, he said.

“These children were all their children,” he said of the suspect and his wife.

“It appears this stems from a domestic issue with a breakup in the family, from what our witness has told us,” Assistant Chief Deputy Constable Mark Herman of the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office told reporters. He did not explain further.

…Gilliland said the teenager was in “very critical condition” at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston late Wednesday night.

After the 15-year-old survivor told deputies that her father was headed to her grandparents’ home, they were able to pass along the warning, he said.

Authorities said the teen’s information also helped them intercept the suspect. The suspected gunman then led authorities on a chase, with nearly two dozen deputy constables’ patrol cars following him into a cul-de-sac shortly before 7 p.m. There, the suspect’s boxed-in vehicle remained for hours. Finally, about 10 p.m., after hours of waiting and negotiations, the man emerged from his car, raised his hands and sank to his knees as deputies placed him under arrest.

During that time, Gilliand said, there were “two hours of constant talking with a man armed with a pistol to his head and who had just killed six people.”

Gilliland described the man as in his 30s with a beard “and cool as a cucumber.” He said that when he and other officers first approached, the man was “just sitting in his car looking out at us.”

6 dead, 4 children, in suburban Houston shooting. Houston Chronicle, 7/9/2014.

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