Prosecutors: Texas couple, 5 children shot execution-style

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by KHOU

KHOU 11 News Houston

Posted on July 10, 2014 at 6:17 AM

Updated Thursday, Jul 10 at 10:43 PM

SPRING, Texas -- Deputy constables say Ronald Lee Haskell, 33, has been charged with one count of capital murder (multi) in connection with the shooting of seven people, including children, at a home in Spring.

Haskell was transferred to a county jail overnight as the Harris County Precinct 4 Deputy Constable’s Office released new information.

The shootings happened Wednesday at a home in the 700 block of Leaflet in the Enchanted Oaks subdivision.

“He came to this location yesterday afternoon – late – and came under the guise of a FedEx driver wearing a FedEx shirt,” said Constable Ron Hickman.

Detectives said Haskell knocked on the front door of the home and when the 15-year-old girl answered, he asked for her parents. She told him they were not home and so he left.

Investigators said he came back a short time later and asked her again for her parents, but this time he told her his name and the girl recognized him as her ex-uncle. She tried to close the door on him, but he kicked it in, detectives said.

“(He) came to this residence, gathered up the children that were here and awaited the arrival of the parents. Sometime later the victims were shot in this residence, and we now learned that Mr. Haskell was married to a relative of the residents of this home,” Hickman said.

Haskell had demanded to know the whereabouts of his estranged wife, who lives out of state and was not at the home.

Authorities identified the dead as Stephen Stay, 39, and Katie Stay, 33, and their two boys, ages 4 and 14; and two girls, ages 7 and 9.

In court early Thursday, prosecutors said Haskell tied up the family, placed them face down, and then shot each of them in the head execution style.

Deputies said a 15-year-old survivor of the mass shooting suffered a bullet fracture to her skull. She played dead until the suspect left and then alerted authorities that the gunman was on his way to her grandparents' home to kill more relatives.

A Go Fund Me page was created for the survivor, and has raised nearly $80,000 as of this writing.

The deputies beat him to that home and a standoff ensued. After more than three hours sitting in a cul-de-sac, Haskell surrendered.

During that time, Deputy Thomas Gilliland of the Harris County Sheriff's Office said, there were "two hours of constant talking with a man armed with a pistol to his head and who had just killed six people."

Gilliland described the man as in his 30s with a beard "and cool as a cucumber." He said that when he and other officers first approached, the man was "just sitting in his car looking out at us."

"This concluded the way we wanted it to," Gilliland said after the surrender.

Gilliland said the teenager who survived was in "very critical condition" at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston as of late Wednesday night.

Contrary to earlier statements made by authorities, Haskell's adopted kids were not among the shooting victims.

As he was transferred to the county jail, the suspect was still wearing the FedEx uniform. FedEX released this statement Thursday morning:

"Our heartfelt thoughts and condolences go out to all those involved in this tragic incident. Mr. Haskell formerly provided service for FedEx, but has not done so since January."

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