SPRING (REUTERS) - A Texas man was charged with capital murder on Thursday in the shooting deaths of six people, including four children, in a domestic dispute in suburban Houston, authorities said.
Ron Lee Haskell, 33, was being held without bond and has not spoken with police since he was taken into custody on Wednesday night after the shooting in Spring, Texas, they said.
The suspect was chased by police through the residential area of tree-lined streets about 40km north of Houston before he was trapped on a dead end street and surrendered after a four-hour standoff.
"Mr. Haskell was married to a relative of the victims," said Mark Herman, the assistant chief deputy for the Harris County Constable Precinct 4 office.
"Mr. Haskell and his spouse were divorced. I'm not sure what conclusion we can draw from the motive to attack family members," Herman said.
The children killed - two boys aged 4 and 14 and two girls ages 7 and 9 - were all children of Haskell's relatives, the sheriff's office said. The adult victims were a man, 39, and woman, 33, a police spokesman said.
Haskell was charged with capital murder and multiple murders. Capital murder can carry the death penalty in Texas.
A 15-year-old girl who also was shot but survived identified the suspect and told police where he might be going after the shootings. This enabled officers to head him off before he arrived at the home of another family, police said.
A constable at the scene told Reuters the 15-year-old said the shooter was a family member. He said it did not appear he was the father of the children.
"We don't know why this happened," nearby resident Paul Anthony Slawinski said. "This man, his wife, and children were the definition of compassion and charity."
Five of the victims were found dead on the scene, the Harris County Sheriff's Office said. Two others were flown to a hospital, where one, a child, later died and the other was in critical condition, the sheriff's office said.
A local television broadcast of the standoff showed the suspect's car sandwiched between two trucks where the chase ended, with more than a dozen police vehicles nearby.
After a four-hour interlude, he walked out of his car with his hands raised, then lay down on the ground in surrender.