CHICAGO (AFP) - A shooting spree at four homes and a petrol station left five people dead and a suspect in custody, local media reported on Tuesday.
A woman who answered the phone at the police station in Terrell, Texas, was unable to provide information on the shooting, telling AFP only that "the subject is in custody". He was identified in local media reports as Charles Brownlow, a man with a lengthy criminal history.
NBC news reported that neighbours identified the first woman shot as Brownlow's aunt, whose body was discovered in her home at about 5pm Monday. Half an hour later a firefighter noticed smoke coming from the home of Brownlow's mother. Her body was discovered inside the charred house.
Things were quiet for a little while, but at 10pm shots were fired at the home of Brownlow's girlfriend, NBC news reported. Nobody was hurt there. The bodies of a woman and a man were found dead in another home at 10.27 pm. A three-year-old child discovered in the home was unhurt. Ten minutes later, a convenience store clerk was shot dead at Ali's Market.
Brownlow tried to flee police in a car stolen from his mother's house, but he crashed into a fence and then ran off into the woods. He was captured with the help of infrared cameras and helicopters at 1.30am on Tuesday.
"We're all in a state of shock. You have a tendency to think, 'How can that happen here?'" Terrell police chief Jody Lay told reporters at an early morning press conference. "This is a country community, a rural community, people are real close and this is going to have a really big impact on us."