SPRING, Texas — The suspect in a mass shooting that left six people dead, including four children, and one injured tied up his victims and shot each one in the head, prosecutors said Thursday.
The Harris County Sheriff's Office says Ronald Lee Haskell, 33, was booked Thursday on a capital murder/multiple murders charge and held without bond.
Police say Haskell arrived at the home wearing a FedEx uniform and once inside, he gathered several children in the home and waited for their parents to come home. He then shot seven people. Six died and one girl survived.
"He came to this location yesterday afternoon ... and came under the guise of a FedEx driver wearing a FedEx shirt," said Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Ron Hickman. "(He) gathered up the children that were here and awaited the arrival of the parents. Sometime later the victims were shot in this residence, and we now learned that Mr. Haskell was married to a relative of the residents of this home."
Detectives said Haskell knocked on the front door of the home and when the 15-year-old girl answered he asked for her parents. She told him they were not home and so he left.
Investigators said he came back a short time later and asked her again for her parents, but this time he told her his name and the girl recognized him as her ex-uncle. She tried to close the door on him, but he kicked it in, detectives said.
Authorities identified the dead as Stephen Stay, 39, and Katie Stay, 33, and their two boys, ages 4 and 14; and two girls, ages 7 and 9.
Haskell demanded to know the whereabouts of his ex-wife, Melanie, the sister of Katie Stay.
Haskell had a handful of previous run-ins with law enforcement in Utah, where he had lived with his wife. Neighbors said Haskell's marriage was so rocky that Stay went to Utah last fall to help her sister escape the relationship and start a new life in Texas.
Haskell had previously been jailed in 2008 in Utah on charges of assault and domestic violence.
"She alleged that he had dragged her by her hair, out of the bedroom, and assaulted her hitting her in the head," said Captain Tyson Budge of Logan City (Utah) Police.
Those charges were later dismissed.
In October 2013, Haskell's ex-wife filed a protective order against him. It was dismissed after the couple filed for divorce, online court records show. Their divorce was finalized Feb. 14.
During Haskell's first court appearance Thursday, prosecutor Nathan Moss said Haskell tied up the family, placed them face down, and then shot each of them in the head execution style.
Hickman corrected an earlier report that said Haskell was the father of the children. He did not release details of Haskell's relationship to the family, but described the adults killed as the children's parents.
Deputies said the 15-year-old girl suffered a bullet fracture to her skull. They said she played dead until Haskell left and then alerted authorities that he was on his way to her grandparents' home to kill more relatives.
A standoff ensued when deputies cornered Haskell in a cul-de-sac in a nearby neighborhood. He surrendered after more than three hours.
During the standoff, Deputy Thomas Gilliland 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."
The surviving teen girl was in "very critical condition" at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston as of late Wednesday, Gilliland said.
In a statement released by FedEX officials Thursday, the company extended its condolences to "all those involved in this tragic incident." The statement indicated that Haskell formerly "provided service for FedEx, but has not done so since January."
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