A gunman shot six people to death, four of them children, in what appeared to be a domestic dispute in a Houston, Texas, suburb late on Wednesday then fled the scene before surrendering to police after a standoff, a police official said.
Harris County Constable Ron Hickman told reporters after the suspect's arrest the victims ranged from 4 to 40 years of age, and preliminary information indicated two of the dead were children adopted by the gunman and his estranged wife.
Hickman added that the violence stemmed from "obviously a domestic situation that went south, probably a divorce or separation."
The victims were two boys, ages 4 and 14, two girls, ages 7 and 9, and a man and woman, ages 39 and 33, a police spokesman said. The shooting occurred in the middle-class Houston suburb of Spring.
A 15-year-old girl who also was shot but survived provided police with the name of the suspect and where he was believed to be going after he fled the scene. This enabled officers to head him off before he arrived at the home of another family, police said.
A constable at the scene told Reuters the 15-year-old had said the shooter was a family member. He said it did not appear he was the father of the children.
CNN citing Harris County Sheriff's Office spokesman Thomas Gilliland said all of the children were either biological or adopted children of the suspect.
Reuters could not independently confirm the report.
Police did not release the names of the suspect and the victims or a possible motive. He could be charged as soon as Thursday.
About the author
Research Associate at Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) at Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University