Saturday 22 November 2014

Man charged with killing two adults, four of his children faced previous allegations of domestic violence

Published 11/07/2014 | 14:08

Ronald Lee Haskell, 33, is seen in an undated booking photo released by the Harris County Sheriff's Department in Harris County, Texas on July 10, 2014.  Haskell was charged with capital murder on Thursday after appearing at the house of his estranged wife's relatives disguised as a FedEx driver and gunning down a married couple and four of their children, authorities said.   REUTERS/Harris County Sheriff's Department/Handout via Reuters (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW HEADSHOT) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
Ronald Lee Haskell, 33, was charged with capital murder after appearing at the house of his estranged wife's relatives disguised as a FedEx driver and gunning down a married couple and four of their children, authorities said. Reuters
Scene of the shooting in Houston
Law enforcement officers investigate the scene of a shooting in Spring, Texas. AP
Neighbours embrace each other following the shooting in Spring, Texas. AP
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. Reuters
A Harris County Precinct 4 Constable has to turn residents away from the crime scene after several people were shot to death in the Houston suburb of Spring Texas. Reuters
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. Reuters
Law enforcement officers surround a shooting suspect in Spring, Texas. (AP/Houston Chronicle)

A man charged with killing six members of his ex-wife's family, including four children, was the subject of a restraining order obtained by his own mother less than a week before the attack and faced previous allegations of domestic violence, authorities said.

Ronald Lee Haskell, 33, is accused of killing his ex-wife's sister Katie Stay, her husband and the children, ranging in age from four to 14, after tying them and laying them face-down on the floor of their suburban home in Houston, Texas.

They were shot in the back of the head after the family refused to tell Haskell where he could find his ex-wife, officials said.

The lone survivor of the attack, the murdered couple's 15-year-old daughter, suffered a fractured skull when a bullet grazed her head.

Police in San Diego said Haskell's mother had reported an argument with her son on July 2 at her home, during which Haskell physically restrained her when she tried to leave the house to call for help. He finally left after a few hours, and his mother contacted police, a statement said.

She later obtained a restraining order against her son and the case remains under investigation, according to the statement.

Haskell had a handful of previous run-ins with law enforcement in Utah, where he had lived with his wife. Neighbours said his marriage was so rocky that Ms Stay went to Utah last year to help her sister escape the relationship and start a new life in Texas.

Documents presented at a preliminary court hearing for Haskell said the daughter who survived the attack attempted to close the door after telling Haskell her parents were not there, but he allegedly kicked it in. After the shootings, the teenager played dead and called police when Haskell left the house, prosecutors said.

She told authorities the gunman was planning to shoot other relatives, Harris County Constable Ron Hickman said. Police located Haskell's car and took him into custody after a three-hour stand-off.

A statement issued through the Harris County Sheriff's Office said she is expected to make a full recovery.

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