Texas father shoots four children
Suspect in a mass shooting that left six people dead, including four of his own children, ended a three-hour long standoff in Houston, Texas.PT0M34S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3bpz7 620 349 July 10, 2014
Houston: A father opened fire at a suburban Texas home, killing four of his children as well as two adults who were with them and critically wounding his 15-year-old daughter, authorities say.
The teenager was able to call Houston police on Wednesday and later warned that her father planned to go to her grandparents' home to kill them, said Deputy Thomas Gilliland of the Harris County Sheriff's Office.
The suspected gunman eventually surrendered after a three-hour stand-off with deputies who had cornered him in a nearby street.
Residents with police near the scene of a mass shooting on Wednesday in Texas. Photo: AP
Killed were two boys, ages four and 14; two girls, ages seven and nine; a 39-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman, police said. The gunman and his wife are estranged, and she lives out of state, Deputy Gilliland said. All of the children were theirs. Two of the dead children were adopted, he said.
Harris County Constable Ron Hickman said that during the standoff, the suspect held a gun to his head.
Deputy Gilliland said the 15-year-old girl was in "very critical condition" late on Wednesday night.
Law enforcement officers surround a shooting suspect in his car on Wednesday in Spring, Texas. Photo: AP
Authorities said the teen's information helped them intercept the suspect. The suspected gunman then led authorities on a chase until being boxed in. Finally, after hours of waiting and negotiations, the man emerged from his car, raised his hands and sank to his knees as deputies placed him under arrest.
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".
Police said they found three children and two adults shot to death inside the home after 6pm local time. A fourth child who was wounded died at a hospital, according to a sheriff’s office. A seventh victim, believed to be the suspect's daughter, remained in critical condition, the release said.
Armoured vehicles surround the suspect's car.
The woman was able to tell authorities where the suspect was heading, triggering a police chase that lasted at least 20 minutes.
Mr Hickman said a large military-style SWAT truck was parked in front of the suspect's vehicle to prevent him from fleeing.
The shooting was the latest in a spate of similar incidents in a country plagued by gun violence.
The shooting suspect surrenders. Photo: AP
President Barack Obama has warned that America needs to do some "soul-searching" on gun control, which remains relatively lax despite regular gun rampages.
On May 23, a student killed six people and then himself in California, while on June 5 a gunman killed one person and injured two others on a campus in Seattle.
In June, a couple with possible anti-government militia links shot dead two police and a civilian in Las Vegas, and a teenage gunman shot a 14-year-old student dead at an Oregon high school.
Neighbours embrace each other following a shooting in Houston, Texas. Photo: AP
Agence France-Presse, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press