HOUSTON (Texas): In a grisly incident, eight people, including five children have been shot dead here at a home in the US state of Texas and a suspect has been arrested following a brief exchange of fire, police said on Sunday.
The Harris county sheriff’s office said a 49-year-old man surrendered after five children and three adults were found dead at a home here on Saturday.
The relationship between the suspect and the victims is unclear, said deputy Thomas Gilliland, spokesman for the Harris county sheriff’s office. Investigators are also still trying to determine how the victims were killed, Houston Chronicle reported.
Gilliland said the ages or genders of the victims were not known. He said there have been previous calls for service at the home.
The incident took place around 9pm when deputies were called to a home in Falling Oaks, not far from Veterans Memorial and Fallbrook Drive, to perform a welfare check.
Gilliland said when deputies arrived, no one responded at the front door. They then received more information that indicated a man in the home was wanted on a warrant for aggravated assault on a family member.
Gilliland said the negotiators began communicating with the suspect and convinced him to come out. He was taken into custody without incident. Deputies then entered the home and found the bodies of the eight victims.
The sergeant on the scene called for a High Risk Operations Unit, similar to SWAT, to help make entry and investigate. While the call was being placed, deputies surrounded the home, and they spotted the body of a juvenile through a window.
The sergeant and three deputies forced their way in, and the male suspect inside began shooting, the sheriff’s office says. Deputies pulled back and waited for the HROU and a negotiator to arrive.
Authorities established contact with the suspect, and after more than an hour he came outside and surrendered without further incident. The bodies of eight people were found in the home, Gilliland said.
“Due to the amount of victims and the proximity to the people in the house, it’ll be a scene that’s going on for a while,” Gilliland said.