According to prosecutors, the man behind yesterday's grisly shooting in the Houston suburb of Spring, Texas forced his way into Stephen and Katie Stay's home, tied them and their five children up, and made them lie face-down before shooting them "execution-style." Police arrested Ronald Lee Haskell, 33, last night after a chase and an hours-long standoff. He has been charged with one count of capital murder.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Haskell is the ex-husband of Katie Stay's sister, and came to their home searching for his ex-wife. Haskell shot all seven family members—the parents and three of the children died at the scene. A fourth child died at the hospital.
One daughter, 15-year-old Cassidy, survived by playing dead until police arrived. Cassidy has nine stitches and a skull fracture after the bullet grazed her head. She told police that Haskell appeared at her front door dressed as a FedEx worker, and asked to speak to her parents. From there, the incident escalated:
She told him they weren't home, at which point he left, but soon returned and knocked on the door again. She again told him her parents weren't home. At that point, he told her his name, which she recognized, and she tried to close the door.
Then, Haskell kicked the door in and forced his way inside. He told her to get a pen and paper, tied her up, and waited for other family members to return.
When they arrived, the suspect tied them up and made then lie face-down on the floor. Then, he asked them where his wife was. They said they didn't know. "He shot them all "execution-style," in the back of the head," according to the statement read by a prosecutor.
When officers arrived at the scene, Cassidy told them that Haskell might be heading to the home of his ex-wife's parents nearby; police were able to corner him before he arrived at the house.
According to police, Haskell has a long history of domestic disputes:
Logan police Capt. Tyson Budge said the 2008 domestic violence and child abuse charges arose from an incident in which he had pulled his wife by the hair and punched her in the side of her head in front of children.
In October 2013, he was arrested for violating a newly issued protective order by showing up at the elementary school of his children. Budge said that because the alleged violation occurred on the same day that he'd been issued the protective order, authorities didn't prosecute him.
In September 2009, Haskell found a police officer and told him that his then-wife Melannie had walked off and he felt she was going to kill herself, saying he'd found a note saying that she was leaving.
In October 2013, Budge said, police received a call from Haskell's brother saying he feared Haskell was going to harm himself, and wanted them to do a welfare check.
"He probably did a lot more than she (his wife at the time) told us, but this is all we've got on him," Budge said.
KHOU reports that Haskell blamed the Stays for convincing his ex-wife to leave him with their three children.
[Images via Houston Chronicle]