HOUSTON, Texas — A suspect in the killing of eight people in Texas broke into the house and handcuffed the victims in their bedrooms before he shot them, authorities said.
David Conley was charged with capital murder after deputies discovered the bodies of two adults and their six children in their Houston-area home early Sunday.
Conley, 48, forcibly entered the home because the owners had changed their locks, authorities said.
His motive appears to be related to the mother of the children, who had a past relationship with him, Harris County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Tim Cannon said.
One — and possibly two — of the children killed might have been the suspect’s, authorities said.
“Once again, a senseless tragedy has struck our community,” Cannon said. “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of those lost.”
Call for a welfare check
The incident started late Saturday night when a relative called authorities and asked them to perform a welfare check on the residence.
When deputies arrived at the scene, they knocked on the door, but no one showed up, said Thomas Gilliland, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies surrounding the house saw a child’s body through the window and entered the home, according to Gilliland.
The suspect fired at them, forcing them to pull back and wait for hostage negotiators and a unit that specializes in high-risk situations.
Hours of standoff
After several hours of negotiations, authorities coaxed the suspect into coming out and arrested him. They found a gruesome scene in the three-bedroom house.
The victims were spread out in all bedrooms, shot to death, some multiple times, authorities said.
“Upon entering into the home … to check for the welfare for any other people in the house, the bodies of eight victims were found inside the residence,” he said.
The victims’ ages ranged from 6 to 50 and included a woman, her husband and their six children, according to Cannon.
They are Valerie Jackson, 40, and Dwayne Jackson, 50. Their children are Dwayne 10, Nathaniel ,13, Honesty , 11, Caleb, 9, Trinity , 7, and Jonah, 6.
The spokesman said authorities have been called to the home before, but the nature of those calls was not immediately available.
Conley has been charged with three counts of capital murder. Authorities said in such cases, one capital murder count includes multiple deaths.
He is being held in the Harris County Jail without bail.