The Texas mother who was shot to death by a police officer after fatally gunning down her two daughters on Friday had a history of mental illness, as previously reported by Time.
The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s spokeswoman, Caitilin Espinosa, informed People that the police had been to Christy Sheats’ home “for previous altercations” due to the “mental crisis” she’d been going through.
Espinosa refused to divulge more information about the police’s recent encounters with Christy.
On Friday at around 5 p.m., the police responded to 911 calls reporting that shots had been fired inside Sheats’ home. The officers found Christy’s two daughters, Taylor Sheats, 22, and Madison Sheats, 17, lying on the street outside the home when they arrived at the scene.
Taylor reportedly had been shot once while inside the house, and was shot again twice outside. Madison was shot when she was already outside.
Christy, who refused to drop her gun after being given warnings, was shot dead by a Fulshear city police officer “before she was able to shoot [Madison] again,” Espinosa said. Both daughters died from gunshot wounds.
A Fulshear police representative also told People that he didn’t have any information as to the department’s decision on the officer who shot Christy dead, and he added that the department won’t release any information going forward.
Espinosa says that they are still investigating the motive behind the shooting.
“It was a family argument that turned into a shooting,” Sheriff Troy Nehls said, according to the Houston Chronicle. “But we’re still trying to put the pieces together.”
A neighbor told ABC13 that Christy Sheats has recently reunited with her husband after a separation. The husband, who was inside the house when the shooting happened, was uninjured. He was later taken to a local hospital, where he is reportedly “going through a very difficult time.”
Christy Sheats, who was an active user on Facebook, expressed numerous times on the social media site her strong disapproval of gun control.
In January, Christy posted a meme criticizing Obama for his views on gun control. The meme, which contains a photo of a gun and several bullets, contained the caption, “I have 10 guns. Obama wants 8 of my guns. How many guns do I have? That’s right, I have 10 guns.” Sheats captioned her post, “That’s right! #merica.”
In March, she reportedly shared a now-deleted anti-gun control video, captioning it with, “It would be horribly tragic if my ability to protect myself or my family were to be taken away, but that’s exactly what Democrats are determined to do by banning semiautomatic handguns.”
In her other posts, Christy Sheats was nothing short of affectionate towards her two daughters. In September, 2015, she took the time to greet them a “Happy Daughter’s Day.”
“Happy Daughter’s Day to my amazing, sweet, kind, beautiful, intelligent girls,” Sheats wrote. “I love and treasure you both more than you could ever possibly know.”
Both Taylor and Madison Sheats worked as babysitters, according to their respective Facebook accounts.
A few of those who knew the two girls personally took to social media to express their condolences.
“My heart is broken this morning to find that my sweet Madison Sheats lost her life,” wrote Whitney Mae Bruce, who introduced herself as Madison’s former teacher.
“Always positive and smiling, Madison quickly became one of my favorite students four years ago while teaching for the first time in Katy. A wonderful student/person/babysitter will be missed enormously. Please pray for her father,” she continued.
“Taylor Sheats you were a beautiful soul! Always easy going, kind hearted, wonderful and contagious smile, also a great artist. Rest in peace!” Travis Reynolds wrote.
In light of the Texas mother’s history of mental illness, do you think that this tragic incident could have been avoided if stricter gun laws were put in place? Feel free to share your thoughts below.
[Image via Christy Byrd Sheats/Facebook]