HOUSTON (FOX 26) - "It's definitely a dark day here in Harris County," said Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. "Another situation of family violence."
Deputies say the man behind the bloodshed shot his own 8-year-old daughter and 11-year-old stepson to death before turning the gun on himself. The deadly shooting was reported on Edgeboro Street near the North Sam Houston Parkway East on Thursday afternoon in northeast Harris County. The mother of the two children lived at that home, but she was not there at the time that the shooting was reported.
The grandmother of the two children was watching them at her home on Verano Street near Holland Avenue in Jacinto City. The father of one of the children picked up both of them and took them with him.
The children's grandmother had contacted the Jacinto City Police Department and reported them missing.
"They were under the care of a grandmother and she had stepped away to the store briefly when she returned, the children were missing," said Gonzalez.
"I see three cops and I told my friend, 'Hey, man! Something's going on!," said Pete Gallegos, who was working a few hundred feet from where the shootings were reported. He then saw the two children.
"I don't know if it was a little girl or little boy with long hair, she was just covered with blood," described Gallegos.
"I got to the gate and tried to talk to the daughter," said Harold Kelley, who has known the children's mother for many years. "She was crying so bad, she couldn't talk. She said, 'I'll tell you later.'"
"I just can't believe it," added Kelley.
Relatives, overcome with grief, came and went from the crime scene. Many of them appeared in disbelief as they tried to console each other.
Another man, who is the biological father to one of the children who died, had arrived to the home after the shooting and collapsed when he learned what took place.
Neighbors tell FOX 26 News that the couple had been fighting recently.
Deputies have not established a motive for the shooting other than it stemming from a domestic dispute.
"This happens way too often and it's very sad and unfortunate that we still see situations like this occur," said Sheriff Gonzalez.