Deputy constables say a man shot and killed six family members of his estranged wife, including four children, during a domestic dispute in Spring. The alleged gunman finally surrendered Wednesday night after an hours-long standoff.
The shooting happened late Wednesday afternoon in the 700 block of Leaflet in the Enchanted Oaks subdivision. The Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office says the man, identified as 33-year-old Ron Lee Haskell, shot seven family members—two adults and five children.
The adult victims have been identified as Stephen Stay, 39, and 33-year-old Katy Stay. Four of their five children -- two boys, ages 4 and 13, and two girls, ages 6 and 9 -- were killed. Their 15-year-old daughter was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital via Lifeflight and remains in critical condition.
Earlier reports from authorities stated the young victims were Haskell’s children. Deputy constables now say Haskell is a relative, but not the children’s father.
According to documents read in magistrate court Thursday morning, the 15-year-old girl said Haskell knocked on the door of the family’s home dressed as a FedEx worker. He asked for her parents, but she said they weren’t home.
Court documents state Haskell left, then returned a short time later and knocked on the door again. She told him once again that her parents were not home. Once Haskell told her his name, the girl said she recognized that he was her "ex-uncle" and tried to close the door.
The teen said Haskell then kicked the door in and tied her up. When the rest of the family returned home, the girl said he tied them up as well and laid them face-down on the floor.
He asked where his estranged wife was, and when they told him they did not know, court documents state he shot them all "execution-style" in the back of the head and left the scene. The bullet only fractured the teen girl’s skull, so she played dead until he left, then called 911.
The two adults and three of the children were found dead upon arrival, according to deputies. One child was transported via LifeFlight to the hospital, but also died. The 15-year-old survivor 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.
But, thanks to her warning, law enforcement officials intercepted Haskell and he took off. Haskell led deputies on a 30-minute chase for more than three miles until he drove into a cul-de-sac at Countrymeadow and Country Canyon Drive and was blocked in by deputies shortly before 7 p.m.
Haskell, holding a gun to his head, sat in his vehicle for hours surrounded by deputies with guns drawn and at least a dozen patrol cars.
A large SWAT vehicle rammed into the suspect’s car, crushing the front bumper, and stopped on top of the hood of the car. A second SWAT truck pulled directly behind the suspect’s car and rammed into the back of it, preventing the car from moving.
Then shortly before 10 p.m., negotiators were able to get Haskell to surrender peacefully. Authorities say Haskell was transported to the Homicide Division where he has refused to talk to investigators.
Haskell was charged with capital murder and is being held without bond. He was not present in court.
Wednesday's shooting was not the first time Haskell was accused in crimes relating to children or violence.
According to the Cache County Sheriff’s Office, Haskell has had several involvements with law enforcement in Utah.
He 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. 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. The protective order was served exactly one year before he allegedly shot multiple family members of his estranged wife, Melanie Kay Haskell.