3 killed, 2 injured in Liberty County shootings; suspect found hiding in woods, officials say

DAYTON, Texas – Three people were killed Monday and two others were injured in a series of shootings in Liberty County.

The shootings were first reported at about 11:15 a.m. near Dayton.

According to Liberty County deputies, the investigation spans three scenes. At least one of the scenes was located on County Road 4901, near the intersection of U.S. Highway 90 and FM 1413.

Deputies said the suspect, identified as 60-year-old Michael Wettstein, was jailed without bond pending arraignment on a capital murder charge.

Family members identified Misty Herndon as the first victim, and Wettstein’s ex-girlfriend. Herndon, 38, was a mother and grandmother. Wettstein is accused of shooting and killing Herndon and a man in one home and another man in another home a few houses up the road.

Investigators said Wettstein then shot two more neighbors, 66-year-old Marvin Rumley and his 32-year-old daughter, Amanda, both of whom were airlifted to a Houston hospital. Their current condition was not immediately released.

When police arrived Monday morning, Wettstein was missing, investigators said. He was later found hiding in a nearby wooded area and surrendered without resisting, investigators said.

Investigators said they found a shotgun and a rifle they believe were used in the shootings.

“It’s probably going to be a lengthy investigation,” said Capt. Ken Defoor, of the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office. “We have several scenes. We have several shooting victims, so it’s not something that’s going to be wrapped up in an hour or two. It’s going to be quite lengthy. The investigators are gathering evidence, talking to people, witnesses and so forth.”

About the Authors: