Houston police found eight people dead, including five children, after responding to a home and exchanging gunfire with the suspect.
A SWAT team responded to the call and the shooter, a man, reportedly surrendered to police, Reuters reported.
The massacre took place on Falling Oaks Road at close to 9 p.m. on Saturday, police said. Deputies were initially called to perform a welfare check and learned that a man inside the home had a warrant for aggravated assault on a family member.
The New York Daily News had more details.
“[Harris County Sheriff spokesman Thomas] Gilliland said while waiting for a High Risk Operations Unit to arrive at the scene, deputies spotted the body of a juvenile through a window. Four deputies then forced their way into the home, prompting the 49-year-old male suspect inside to begin shooting. Deputies pulled back and waited for the operations unit to arrive.
Deputies pulled back, and the man surrendered about an hour later.”
Police did not yet have details on the victims in the Houston shooting or their relationship to the alleged shooter.
“At this time we have what appears to be five children and three adults,” Gilliland told KHOU. “Ages and genders we do not have, and cause of death we do not have. The medical examiner will have to determine a cause of death.”
Police said the sheer size of the massacre is making the investigation difficult.
“Homicide detectives have taken over the operation along with our crime scene unit,” 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.”
It has been especially difficult on detectives as they wade through the crime scene with five dead children, Gilliland added. He noted that counselors have been called in to help with those affected by the grim nature of the home.
“It’s a hard job being a patrolman in this town, and our deputies do a yeoman’s job every day, but when they’re forced to see some of the most horrific things along this nature, especially of children, and someone so callous could do something like this to children — we have our family assistance coming out to talk to our deputies and help them decompress,” said Gilliland.
There are still many questions after the eight people were found dead in Houston, including a possible motive and information about the children killed.
[Image via Getty Images]