Wounded Teen Hero Prevents More Death, As Texas Gunman Kills 6 from Same Family

( [email protected] ) Jul 11, 2014 01:13 PM EDT
Community feels great loss after Texas gunman kills 6 and tries to kill more.
Haskell is charged with killing six members of his ex-wife's family yesterday. AP

The evil gunman in Texas who killed six people wanted to murder more from the same family; a critically wounded 15-year-old hero at the scene stopped him from causing even more death and destruction.

Cassidy Stay was allegedly shot by the gunman, but managed to tell police who he was before she was rushed via helicopter to a hospital, where she is in critical condition, according to authorities. She is the only survivor of Wednesday's bloody rampage at a home in Spring, Texas. Stay is a beacon of hope to her church and community that says the people killed, including 3 young children and a teen, "had an abundance of Love."

"Stephen and Katie Stay and their beautiful children were an amazing and resilient family. They lived to help others, both at church and in their neighborhood. We love them beyond words," Roger Lyon, Cassidy's Grandfather, said in a statement issued by the family.

According to Fox, The children killed were two boys ages 4 and 13, plus two girls ages 7 and 9. Their parents were Katie and Stephen Stay, according to court documents. The father, a real estate agent, was 39 and the mother, 33, was a stay at home mom, according to Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Thomas Gilliland.  

Shocked and distraught neighbors in the Texas town were saddened Thursday, remembering the child victims as "beautiful kids" who "gave an abundance of hugs to everyone."

According to NBC, The slain children were identified as Zach, 4, Bryan, 13, Rebecca, 7, and Emily, 9.

"They were just loved by everyone," said Lemm Elementary School Principal Kathy Brown of two of the four children who were slain and who were students there.

Texas Shooting Victims
(via Facebook)

Apparently Cassidy managed to dial 911 after she was shot - telling police that the man had shot all seven of them, before fleeing the house to try to kill her grandparents.

"She was able to provide us the name of the person who shot them, where he was going next," Constable Ron Hickman said during a press conference late Wednesday. The constable had initially said the gunman was her father, but it was later determined that he was a former uncle.  

Haskell and his wife were in the process of divorcing, authorities said.

During a preliminary court hearing this morning, prosecutor's said that Haskell came to the family's door posing as a FedEx delivery man and was wearing a FedEx uniform.

Texas Shooter Ronald Lee Haskell Collapses in Court as Charges are Read 

The teenager explained to authorities that when she answered the door, she told Haskell that her parents were not home. He left, but came back and kicked in the door a few minutes later.  

Haskell bound the teenagers and other helpless children, and waited in the home until the rest of the family came home, the prosecutor said. When they returned, Haskell allegedly tied up the two parents, also. He forced them all to lay facing the ground, the court was told.

While the family lay bound, Haskell asked the family members where his wife was, prosecutors said. When they said that they did not know where his wife was, Haskell allegedly executed them all, one-by-one, by shooting them in the back of the head.  

Spring Texas Crime Scene
A Harris County officer has to turn residents away from the crime scene after several people were shot to death in the Houston suburb of Spring Texas July 9, 2014. Reuters

Police later trapped Haskell on a dead end street by using armored vehicles to ram the front and back of his vehicle to prevent him from driving away. After nearly a 4 hour stand-off that included Haskell holding his gun to his own head, Haskell got out of his car, knelt down and surrendered, police said.

Court records show that while living in Utah, Haskell was charged with simple assault and child abuse or neglect in 2008. He was served with a protective order in early July 2013 before his wife Melanie Kaye Haskell filed for divorce on Feb. 14, 2014.