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.
The teenager was able to call police 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.
Mr 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”.
The sheriff’s department said precinct deputy constables were called to the house in Spring, Houston, and found two adults and three children dead. Another child later died at a hospital.
Mr Gilliland said those killed were two boys, aged four and 14; two girls, aged seven and nine; a 39-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman.
The gunman and his wife are estranged, and she lives out of state, Mr Gilliland said. All of the children were theirs. Two of the dead children were adopted, he said.
“It appears this stems from a domestic issue with a break-up in the family, from what our witness has told us,” Assistant Chief Deputy Constable Mark Herman of the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office told reporters. He did not explain further.
The authorities did not release the identities of the victims or the suspect, nor did they say whether the adults who were killed were related to the children or their father.
Mr Gilliland said the teenager was in “very critical condition”.
The authorities said the teenager’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.
Mr 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”.
Precinct 4 Constable Ron Hickman said: “He was in the car for three-and-a-half hours. He was worn down like the rest of us. He came out of the car without resistance.”
Danna Stevens, 75, and her husband, Texas Stevens, live four doors down from the home where the shooting happened.
Danna Stevens said she did not know her neighbours well and that they had moved in about a year ago.