DESOTO — The grandmother of a boy critically injured in a domestic violence shooting Wednesday night in the driveway of a DeSoto home said her daughter was in the midst of a divorce and was stalked for months by the alleged shooter.
Emory Howell said her daughter, 40-year-old Thelma Richard, was pulling into the driveway of her home after attending a football game when her estranged husband, 46-year-old Richard Richard, opened fire on the vehicle. Her two grandsons were also inside.
"My daughter said it caught them by surprise," Howell said. "And all of the sudden, he just popped up and opened fire."
Mrs. Richard was behind the wheel, her 15-year-old son was in the front passenger seat and her other son was in the back.
"He shot all the way around the car," Howell said. "And when he got to her, he put the gun literally to the window to shoot at her head five times and missed."
That wasn't the end of the attack. Howell said Mr. Richard jumped onto the hood of the car and attempted to break the windshield.
"When she backed up, she slung him off," she said.
Mrs. Richard was only grazed by a bullet. Her son in the back seat was not hurt. However, the 15-year-old was shot several times and is in critical condition.
DeSoto police said Mrs. Richard was able to drive to a Walgreens in the 700 block of E. Pleasant Run and called police at about 9:02 p.m. Upon arriving, officers talked with Mrs. Richard, who identified the shooter as her estranged husband.
According to authorities, police found Mr. Richard on his knees ready to surrender in the driveway where the shooting occurred in the 500 block of Meadow Hill Dr.
Mrs. Richard is stabilized at Methodist Central Hospital, which is also where her critically wounded son is.
Howell said the relationship between her daughter and Mr. Richard was a violent one. However, she said her daughter decided to make a change when her husband began abusing the children.
"That was her cue to leave," Howell said. "She could handle him abusing her, but not her sons."
In August, her daughter and two sons moved from their Grand Prairie home to live with Howell in DeSoto. But, according to Howell, that didn't stop Mr. Richard from attempting unwanted contact.
"He's shown up [to the house]," the grandmother said. "He's been stalking her for months ever since she left."
Howell said her daughter filed protective orders against Mr. Richard with both DeSoto and Grand Prairie police previous to the shooting. However, the protective orders couldn't be put into place until a judge signed them.
"It's taking people dying in order for the system to work," the grandmother said.
Howell said her 15-year-old grandson is an athlete who plays football at Grand Prairie South High School.
"That's why he survived," she said. "Because he's an athlete and in very good shape and he was healthy."
She said her daughter is shaken but fine.
"Pray for my grandson," she said.