Lone survivor in Spring mass shooting discharged from hospital

By Courtney Zavala, Jennifer Bauer - Reporter, Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - The lone survivor in this week's Spring mass shooting has been discharged from the hospital, Memorial Hermann Hospital says.

Cassidy Stay, 15, was shot along with her parents and four siblings on Wednesday. She was the only one to survive the shooting.

The hospital says she is expected to make a full recovery.

In a statement, the hospital said, "We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to her, and her extended family, as they begin the difficult healing process. They also would like to thank the community, both here in Houston and all over the country, for the outpouring of love and support they have received these past several days."

Ronald Lee Haskell, 33, has been charged with capital murder in the deaths of Cassidy's parents and two brothers and two sisters. Haskell's ex-wife is the sister of Cassidy's mother, Katie Stay.

"I can tell you in my 29 years, I have never had a scene like that," said Harris County Precinct 4 Assistant Chief Mark Herman.

He was one of the first to arrive at the mass shooting scene on Leaflet Lane. When he pulled up, paramedics were wheeling Cassidy out of the home on a stretcher.

"I can tell you she was bloody when she came out. It was obvious she had been shot in the head," Herman said. "I was amazed she was talking."

Not only was she talking, she was giving investigators vital information. And she made sure they were listening to her.

"She was very persistent on getting the info out," said Herman. "She said it was her uncle, gave us his name, said he was going to her grandparents' house on Anvil to kill them and the rest of his family. She was on a mission.  She wanted to get this info out and she averted another tragedy."

Herman says deputies arrived on Anvil just in time. About three minutes later, they spotted suspected shooter Ronald Haskell pull onto the street. He then lead police on a chase and Herman says he too was persistent.

"Once the chase started he kept driving in the subdivision like he was trying to get back to Anvil," said Herman.

After a long police chase and SWAT standoff, Haskell surrendered late Wednesday night.

In court Friday morning, Haskell collapsed after hearing details about the horrific crime he's accused of, how he came to the Stay family home posing as a FedEx delivery man, carrying a small package.

Cassidy, the oldest daughter who was home with her two sisters and two brothers, answered the door and Haskell asked for her parents, who had gone to the bank and weren't home. Haskell left, but later returned.

Cassidy told Haskell she would take his number and have her parents call when they returned. She says she went to get a pen and Haskell followed her in the house, saying, "I know your parents."

Cassidy told investigators his beard was a disguise and she didn't recognize him at first. He then pulled a semi-automatic weapon from his waistband and ordered her to get her siblings. They waited for their parents to return.

Once Katy and Stephen Stay returned, all seven members of the Stay family were ordered to the floor. Cassidy told investigators her mother looked at Haskell and screamed, 'No,' and she was shot first. Then Haskell went down the line shooting everyone twice.

Katie Stay, her husband Stephen Stay, and four of their children -- Rebecca, 6; Emily, 9; Bryan, 13, and 4-year-old Zachary Stay -- were all killed.

Cassidy suffered a skull fracture and lost a finger when she held her hand up during the shooting. Investigators say her hand deflected the bullet just enough to change the trajectory and save not only her life, but the lives of her grandparents and Haskell's ex-wife and children.

Community mourns a family

The Stays were stars in their community. They were involved with a special needs baseball league in northwest Harris County called the Superstars.

Jamie Bautista, a family friend, who works with the Superstars said, "They're just good people that didn't deserve this," family friend Jamie Bautista staid. "It's not a loss of their family that is a loss to our community. It goes much further. It's a ripple effect. Because they were already starting to make a footprint."

The team's Facebook page has become a tribute to the Stay family. Bautista said 13-year-old Bryan Stay had cerebral palsy and his 9-year-old sister, Emily Stay, was developmentally delayed. Bautista said their dad, Stephen Stay was a coach and mom, Katie Stay helped, too.

"They are an advocate for special needs children," Bautista said. "They have lots of children. They weren't content with just sitting home and just existing. They have to be involved and they volunteered in every way that they could."

Colorful ribbons decorate the trees at Lemm Elementary in Klein ISD.

On Saturday morning, at 10:00 a.m., the school and neighborhood will celebrate the lives of the six family members who died and 15-year-old Cassidy Stay who survived.

A gofundme site has been set up to help raise money for the Stay family.

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