- Police in Houston, Texas, arrested 33-year-old Ron Lee Haskell on Wednesday night after a tense stand-off at a suburban cul-de-sac
- Haskell charged with shooting dead six members of the same family
- Arrived at the home wearing FedEx uniform looking for his ex-wife
- Shot dead his victims ‘execution-style’ in the back of the head
- The deceased children were boys, ages 4 and 14; two girls, ages 7 and 9
- Deceased adults identified as Stephen Stay, 39 and Katie Stay, 34
- Teenage girl, 15, also a victim and suffered a critical injury to the head
- She played dead until Haskell left and phoned 911 to alert authorities
- However, his ex-wife was not in the house at the time of the shooting
- Has multiple prior arrests for domestic violence against his family
- Last week his mother accused him of tying her up and choking her
The man who allegedly shot dead a married Houston couple and four of their children in an execution-style killing on Wednesday was jealous of their happy life together, claimed the children’s grandfather.
Speaking to Mailonline from his home in Sun City, California, Thomas Stay said that Ron Haskell, 33, envied the life his son Stephen had built with his wife Katie and their five children.
According to Thomas Stay, Haskell couldn’t accept his separation from his ex-wife Melannie – Katie’s sister – and chose to massacre his son and his family because he was ‘jealous of Stephen and Katie’s family and what they could have that he didn’t have’.
Total tragedy: This photograph is shows Stephen Stay, 39 and Katie Stay, 34 and their five children, including their heroic 15-year-old daughter, Cassidy, (left to right) Rebecca, seven, Emily, nine, Zachary, four and Bryan, 14
Thomas also opened up about Haskell’s history and said that he had been ‘unstable for a long time’ – but had been known to his family for years.
He said: ‘Ron’s brother Bobby is Stephen’s best friend. It’s strange. I think that mentally he’s just not right.
‘The whole thing doesn’t make any sense. Ron was just all mixed up.
‘He and Melanie split about six months ago, they were living in Logan, Utah, and he was abusive, very controlling. Their divorce was finalized in February.
‘She couldn’t take it any more.’
Thomas said that his son and daughter-in-law moved to Texas about four years ago having previously lived in Utah.
Mother and daughter: Katie Stay operated a jewelry business online with her daughter, Cassidy, 15, who survived the massacre that killed her entire family on Wednesday night
Like Haskell they had four children, but unlike him their marriage lasted.
He said: ‘Melissa had the kids with her. I don’t know if he was thinking maybe the will be at Stephen’s house.’
Paying tribute to his son and daughter-in-law, he said: ‘They were very religious, they had a lot of faith in the gospel. They loved each other and did things together.
‘They just loved life.’
Stephen’s mother Joyce Stay, 74, added: ‘We lost our son, our daughter-in-law, our four grandkids. We know the man that did it.
‘His family has been friends with ours for years. He was not well person. I watched this kid grow up, I have had him in my home for sleepovers.
Parents: Katie and Stephen Stay were shot dead in their Houston home along with four of their five children by their former brother-in-law, Ron Haskell on Wednesday
‘This is a good family that this man comes from – there is something wrong in him to do this kind of thing, it’s not normal’.
Thomas Stay also revealed that Cassidy, 15, the sole survivor of the shooting, is now out of the Intensive Care Unit and is conscious.
This comes as the first photograph of the family reveals the smiling faces of the Stays – shot dead ‘execution style’ by 33-year-old suspect Ron Lee Haskell in Houston on Wednesday night.
Also pictured is the brave 15-year-old girl who was able to phone 911 and warn deputies that Haskell planned to travel to her grandparents’ home to kill them before she was rushed to hospital in a critical condition.
According to police, Haskell killed, Stephen Stay, 39 and Katie Stay, 34 and four children – two boys ages 4 and 14 and two girls, ages 7 and 9, inside their home in the suburb of Spring.
However, Haskell’s 15-year-old niece, who has been identified in local media as Cassidy, survived the shooting and played dead before courageously phoning 911 and alerting police despite suffering a gunshot wound to the head.
Sleeping: The three youngest children of Stephen Stay, 39, and 33-year-old Katy Stay who were shot dead on Wednesday by their irate uncle in Houston, Texas
Police in Houston said that the shooting spree stemmed from the suspects divorce from his wife.
Just last week, Karla Jean Haskell, Ron Haskell’s mother accused her son of domestic violence in San Marcos, California.
Court records reveal that Karla Haskell claims on July 3, her son got angry at her for talking to his ex-wife and duct taped her to a chair, with her arms taped as well.
According to ABC 13 the domestic violence report claims Haskell accused her son of choking her until she lost consciousness and that she stayed taped to the chair for four hours.
Indeed, according to court records, Haskell once had a restraining order filed against him by his ex-wife and had been considered a threat to their children, court records reveal.
Haskell was looking for his ex-wife, Melannie Haskell, when he forced his way into her sister’s home, tied up her famiy and shot them all.
According to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, Haskell’s wife had left him and moved from Utah to Houston with the help of her sister, who lived there.
According to NBC News, Melannie Haskell petitioned a court for an order of protection in July 2013. The judge granted this order, and Melannie Haskell filed for divorce the following month.
In October last year, the protective order was lifted when the couple decided on a mutual restraining order and custody arrangements involving their children.
History: On the left is Ron Lee Haskell’s mugshot taken following his arrest on Wednesday evening, while on the right is an undated mugshot taken from one of his many run-ins with the authorities in Utah over the past six-years for domestic abuse.
A judge also decreed that Ron Lee Haskell’s visits would be watched by a psychologist.
”Mr. Haskell’s parent time will be supervised until such time that his physical therapist can report that the respondent is no longer a threat to the children,’ the judge wrote.
IIndeed, Haskell has had a number of previous run-ins with the law in his home state of Utah when he was living there with his wife.
Before she filed her restraining orders, Utah law enforcement said that Haskell was arrested several times by the Logan City Police Department and was jailed for a time in the Cache County jail in 2008.
Mr. Haskell was booked into the Cache County Jail on charges of simple assault and child abuse or neglect, both class B misdemeanors, on June 5, 2008,’ according to a news release from the Cache County Sheriff’s Office.
Since then, he has had multiple involvements with Logan City Police Department and had a protective order served on him by Cache County Sheriff’s deputies on July 9, 2013.’
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Haskell was also arrested in June 2008 and charged with simple assault and domestic violence in the presence of a child.
He was also jailed in the same year on charges of assault and child abuse or neglect according to a statement from the Cache County Sheriff’s Office.
Both were dismissed the next year.
Arrested: The Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office says 33-year-old Ron Lee Haskell, shot seven family members, including two adults and five children on Wednesday night in Houston, Texas.
Surrender: Haskell surrenders after a three-hour standoff with deputies who had cornered him in a Houston cul-de-sac
Arrest: Law enforcement officers surround Ron Haskell on Wednesday, July 9, 2014, in Spring, Texas. After hours of waiting and negotiations, the suspect emerged from his car, raised his hands and sank to his knees
Tears: A family who identified themselves as friends of the victims, make their way to the house where six people were fatally shot to place flowers and a photograph on the porch.
The teen’s call allowed police to rush to the scene and corner the suspected gunman who eventually sank to his knees and surrendered after a tense three-hour stand-off with deputies who had corralled him into a suburban cul-de-sac.
‘It appears this stems from a domestic issue with a breakup 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.
According to documents read out in magistrate court this morning in Houston, the 15-year-old girl managed to give police a witness statement.
The teen said that Haskell arrived in the afternoon on Wednesday dressed as a FedEx worker looking for his estranged wife and asked for her parents, but she told him that none of them were at home.
Sadness: The Harris County Sheriff’s Office says Ronald Lee Haskell was booked Thursday on a capital murder/multiple murders charge and held without bond.
He left, only to return a short time later and the teen once again told him that her parents were not home.
It was at this point that she recognized him as her ‘ex-uncle’ and tried to close the door on him.
Haskell kicked the door in and tied her up and then waited for her four brothers and sisters and parents to return.
When they did he tied them up as well and then laid them face-down on the floor.
According to police documents read out in court this morning he demanded to know where hs wife was and when they said they did not know, he shot them all ‘execution-style’ in the back of the head and left.
However, the bullet only fractured the teen’s skull according to Click2Houston – and she played dead until he left and then called 911.
Well-wishers: Viri Palacios and her brother Miguel talk about the shooting deaths of their neighbors on Thursday, July 10, 2014, in Spring, Texas
Agony: Patti Beller prays Thursday, July 10, 2014, in Spring, Texas, outside the home that was the scene of a multiple shooting the night before. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office says Ronald Lee Haskell was booked Thursday on a capital murder/multiple murders charge.
Scene unfolding: This was the scene last night in Houston after 34-year-old Ron Lee Haskell reportedly opened fire on members of his family in Houston.
Stand off: The suspect, a male, was in his car during a stand off with police.
Heavy presence: Scores of police cars lined a cul-de-sac where the suspected shooter remained in his car with his weapon Wednesday evening.
Scene: Four children and two adults are dead and a teen injured after a shooting at a suburban Houston home.
She was able to tell deputies who the shooter was and that she believed he was headed to another residence at Anvil and Ella to possibly attack more family members.
Deputies were able to intercept Haskell, who led them on a chase that came to an end about three miles from the shooting scene.
Haskell, 33, was transferred to the Harris County jail overnight and has been charged with multiple shooting deaths.
The shootings took place about 20 miles north of downtown Houston at a four-bedroom home in a quiet, middle-class residential neighborhood near the town of Spring.
Reached at her home in San Marcos, California, Haskell’s mother Karla, 61, fought back the tears as she admitted she still did not know exactly what her son had allegedly done.
She said: ‘We have no idea about what went on. We still don’t know.
‘I can’t watch it. I just can’t do it. I really can’t talk right now’.
Haskell’s brother Robert said: ‘I would like to say that our thoughts and prayers are going to the family that were affected and people that lost their loved ones.
Investigation: Harris County Precinct 4 constables stand at the door of a home where several people were shot to death, in the Houston suburb of Spring, in Texas late July 9, 2014
Asked about his brother’s state of mind, he said: ‘There’s a lot going on but I can’t comment further. I have not spoken to the police’.
Police say Haskell held the five children and their parents prisoner, tied up and then shot them all.
Gilliland said the teenager was in ‘very critical condition’ at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston late Wednesday night after being airlifted there.
It was the 15-year-old survivor who told deputies that Haskell was headed to her grandparents’ home and they were able to pass along the warning, he said according to local press reports.
Constable Ronald Hickman in Houston said she gave police a description of the suspect and was providing ‘critical information’ to authorities.
Tragedy: A Harris County Medical Examiner places one of the six bodies found in a house after several people were shot to death, into the coroner’s van in the Houston suburb of Spring, in Texas early July 10, 2014
Solemn: A Harris County Medical Examiner prepares to place a body into the coroner’s van as they remove bodies from a home after several people were shot to death, in the Houston suburb of Spring, in Texas on Wednesday
‘While quickly responding to that location, we saw him coming up to that residence where other relatives of that family lived and we assumed he meant to shoot them as well,’ Hickman said.
According to KHOU in Houston, ‘He (Haskell) came to this location yesterday afternoon – late – and came under the guise of a FedEx driver wearing a FedEx shirt,’ said Constable Ron Hickman.
‘…came to this residence, gathered up the children that were here and awaited the arrival of the parents. Sometime later the victims were shot in this residence, and we now learned that Mr. Haskell was married to a relative of the residents of this home.’
FedEx confirmed that Haskell worked for them through a contractor – but said he had performed no duties for them since the New Year.
‘We don’t know why this happened,’ nearby resident Paul Anthony Slawinski told Reuters. ‘This man, his wife, and children were the definition of compassion and charity.’
A woman who said she lives across the street from the house described the family as close-knit to the Houston Chronicle.
‘It was a Mormon family,’ she said. ‘They were very sweet and their kids were very shy. This is a sad, sad day.’
Public records state that Stephen Robert Stay and Katie Stay, ages 39 and 33, are living at the residence on Leaflet Lane, however, they are not listed as the owners of the house.
A web page from the Houston Association of Realtors lists Stephen Stay as a real estate broker in the area and listed the home’s address as his residence.
Authorities said the teen’s information also helped them intercept the suspect. The suspected gunman then led authorities on a chase, with nearly two dozen deputy constables’ patrol cars following him into a cul-de-sac shortly before 7 pm.
A father who authorities say fatally shot two adults and four children and critically wounded a 15-year-old daughter, sank to his knees in surrender after a three-hour standoff in suburban Houston, police said
Home: Mark Herman, assistant chief deputy for the Precinct 4 Harris County constable, said authorities responded to a report of a shooting about 6 pm at the home on Leaflet Lane.
Shocked: Neighbors watched in disbelief as the home where six people were killed was investigated.
Grim: Law enforcement officers investigate the gruesome scene.
Family member: Click Houston reports that a female victim with a gunshot wound to her head was able to tell law enforcement who the shooter was, though this has not been made public other than that it was a family member
There, the suspect’s boxed-in vehicle remained for hours. Finally, about 10 p.m., 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.
During that time, Gilliand 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.’
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.’
‘This concluded the way we wanted it to,’ Gilliland said after the surrender.
Said Precinct 4 Constable Ron Hickman, ‘He was in the car for 3½ 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 but weren’t home at the time.
She said she didn’t know her neighbors well and that they had moved into the subdivision about a year ago.