By MICHAEL GRACZYK
Ronald Lee Haskell, 33, is charged with multiple counts of capital
murder in the killings Wednesday evening, Harris County Precinct 4
Constable Ron Hickman said early Thursday. He also is accused of
critically wounding a 15-year-old girl in the shooting rampage.
"I have not personally in 40 years seen a tragedy in one family that is this horrific," Hickman said.
Documents introduced during a preliminary court hearing Thursday show
the 15-year-old girl attempted to close the door to the home after
telling Haskell her parents weren't home, according to a report by
KPRC-TV in Houston. But he kicked in the door.
Haskell was estranged from a woman related to the couple, Hickman
said. Authorities said earlier that Haskell's wife lives in another
state. Hickman corrected preliminary accounts given by law enforcement
personnel Wednesday night that Haskell was the father of the slain
The children killed were two boys ages 4 and 14, 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 was
33, according to Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Thomas Gilliland.
Haskell "gathered up the children that were here and awaited the
arrival of the parents," Hickman told reporters outside the home
Thursday. "Some time later the victims were shot in the residence."
Hickman said Haskell "came in the guise of a FedEx (NYSE:FDX) driver wearing a FedEx shirt."
Federal Express said in a statement that Haskell had "formerly
provided service" for the company, but has not done so since January.
Hickman said that after Haskell left the home the injured teenage
girl -- also a daughter of the murdered couple -- contacted authorities
telling them the shooter was en route to shoot other family members.
Law enforcement personnel located Haskell's car and a low-speed chase
ensued, ending in a cul-de-sac, Hickman said. A standoff then lasted
more than three hours before Haskell exited the car, sank to his knees
Online jail records did not list an attorney for Haskell.
At one point during the standoff tactical officers used a large
armored vehicle to ram the front of his car, disabling it. Another
armored vehicle was used to ram the rear of the car, preventing any
chance of escape.
The sheriff's department said precinct deputy constables were called
to the house about 6 p.m. Wednesday and found the parents and three
children dead. Another child later died at a hospital.
Gilliland said the teenager was in "very critical condition" at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston late Wednesday night.
Gilliland described Haskell after the standoff as "cool as a
cucumber." He said that when he and other officers first approached,
Haskell was "just sitting in his car looking out at us."
Hickman said Haskell surrendered without resistance.
"He was in the car for 3½ hours. He was worn down like the rest of us," he said.