GALENA PARK, Texas (AP) — Authorities say three teenage girls, including one who was pregnant, were fatally shot by a man who also sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl who later escaped and then shot himself.
No names have been released.
The murders took place at around 10:30 p.m. Saturday at the home of the gunman’s girlfriend in Galena Park, a suburb of Houston.
According to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, the girls were 19, 14 and 13 years old.
The 38-year-old man then assaulted the 12-year-old and then told her to run out of the house, Gonzalez said. She grabbed a 1-year-old girl and fled.
“She ran out of the house with no clothes on” to a neighbor’s house, who called the Galena Park Police Department.
“When she ran out, she managed to think about it, thankfully, and was able to grab the 1-year-old and run,” Gonzalez said.
Both girls were hospitalized for treatment of injuries that were not life-threatening, according to a statement from the Galena Park Police Department. The investigation has been turned over to the sheriff’s department.
Authorities did not immediately return messages to The Associated Press on Sunday for additional comment.
Gonzalez said the man’s girlfriend was the mother of the 12-year-old and the 19-year-old. The older victim was the mother of the baby and was pregnant. The sheriff said the girlfriend was not home at the time of the shooting.
The sheriff said authorities were working to determine the relationships of the other two teens who were shot, but described them as relatives.
Gonzalez offered no suspicious motive for the shooting, saying it “makes no sense, it’s all tragic”.
The US has seen a deadly start to 2023, with six mass killings in a three-week period in January, according to an Associated Press/USA Today database. It defines a mass murder as four or more dead, not counting the perpetrator.
A mass shooting on Friday in Mississippi killed six people and there have been a number of mass shootings that have killed fewer people, such as Monday’s shooting at Michigan State University that killed three people and injured five.