MARBLE FALLS, Texas - A Marble Falls woman and her brother are dead after being shot at their home early Tuesday morning.
Police say the woman’s ex-boyfriend confessed to the killings, in what they say are the city’s first murders in five years.
"I walked out and there was police everywhere," said neighbor Casey Word.
Marble Falls police rushed to Cedar Drive in the Pecan Valley neighborhood, after Teresa McDowell, 52, called 9-1-1, saying her ex-boyfriend, William Allen Rutland, 52, had a gun.
"Lot of screaming, we didn’t know what was going on," said neighbor Aiden Pangborn.
When cops arrived around 2 a.m., they found Teresa McDowell lying in the driveway. Her brother, John McDowell, 49, was found along the side of the house. Both had gunshot wounds.
Rutland led police to the victims, who were pronounced dead at the scene.
"He was drunk and saying, ‘It was me.’ He surrendered right then and there," said Pangborn.
Police were on scene at the house for most of the day, collecting evidence and trying to piece together what may have led up to this.
"The best I understand, it was like a typical domestic violence situation," said Marble Falls Police Chief Glenn Hanson.
Hanson says both McDowell siblings lived at the home.
"The suspect lived there as well, not all the time, but he lived there as well, and he and Ms. McDowell had a relationship in the past," said Hanson.
Rutland has a lengthy rap sheet. He has been arrested in Burnet County 14 times in the past 25 years, including for assault, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and driving while intoxicated. He had just been released from jail for the DWI last month.
One neighbor says he often heard the couple fighting.
"She was always afraid of him, and they’d get into some bitter arguments," he said.
But neighbors also remember Teresa McDowell as a kind woman of faith, who loved yard sales.
"I just knew that she was a very sweet lady. She loved to decorate for all the holidays. When she put up her decorations, I knew it was time to put up mine," said Word. "I’m very saddened, and I’m very sorry to her family."
Marble Falls hadn’t seen a homicide since October 2017, another case where the suspect knew the victim.
"It’s unsettling when it happens in our community here, but it can happen anywhere," said Hanson.
For neighbors, that’s a reality that’s still sinking in.
"It’s heartbreaking. Just heartbreaking," said Pangborn.
"It’s scary. And unfortunately my kids are very scared because it’s real," said Word. "It’ll make me definitely tell my kids I love them more and just talk to my neighbors more."
Rutland is being held at the Burnet County Jail on $1 million surety bond. A court date has not yet been set.