PARIS, Texas — Police said they have few leads Thursday afternoon after four men were found shot to death inside a Paris home in the 400 block of NE 6th Street Wednesday night.
According to Paris Police Chief Bob Hundley, the men ranged in age from 18 to 32 years old. They were identified as Romello Steward, 18, Devante Atkins, 21, Brijonne Woods, 24, and Billy Carey, 32. Steward, Atkins and Woods were all from Paris. Carey was from Garland.
In a 911 call made just before 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, a woman told the dispatcher she heard "someone got shot."
"Please, hurry, hurry, hurry," the woman said.
Emergency crews arrived at the scene to find four men dead in the front room of the home. In a release, Hundley describes the murder scene as "very complex."
Paris police are working with the Texas Rangers as they investigation the case. Authorities said they questioned two other men who were reported to be in the same home the night of the shooting. One of the men was arrested on an unrelated charge.
Police said they have ruled out a murder-suicide.
"This was a pretty violent situation," Hundley said. "It is not indicative of our city."
Demekia Woods said she grew up in Paris, located about 98 miles northeast of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She remembers quiet neighborhoods with old homes and often, much older homeowners.
"When I was going to school, this was like a retirement place," Woods said.
But she said things have changed in Paris, and there is more crime.
They have changed so much that Wednesday night at 11:38, police called her and asked her to come to a home on NE 6th street to identify her 24-year-old son's body.
"In the past three years, or maybe four or five years, it's been so much going on here in Paris -- but you would have never thought that anything like this would happen," she said.
Wood's son, Brijonne Woods, a father of three, was found in a front room of the house.
Police Chief Hundley has lived in Paris for 39 years and could not recall a similar crime.
Investigator Capt. Danny Huff would not comment on motive, but said it does not appear to be random. He ruled out gang activity but would not comment about whether drugs were involved.
"Drugs are a big problem here in Paris, Texas." Woods said. "A very big problem."
At least one of the victims lived in the home, he said.
All four victims had previous run-ins with the law in Paris. On their Facebook pages, pictures show them flashing what appear to be gang signs.
Denise Brown remembers Romello Steward as a child. She said she taught him and his siblings during Vacation Bible School.
"These are kids that I taught and they've grown up." she said. "You know, kids might look a certain way, but it doesn't mean they are part of a gang. I don't think we have any gangs here."
In one of the 911 recordings there appears to be some sort of commotion going on in the background as the woman tries to talk to the dispatcher, but so far no witnesses have come forward.
Police said no suspects have been identified.
Friends said they couldn't think of anyone who held a grudge against the childhood friends.
"They were all good kids," said Melissa Chesser, who was Brijonne Woods' godmother. "I'm not going to say they were angels, but they were our angels."
Police are asking the public for help solving this crime. Anyone with any information should call the Paris Police Department at 903-784-6688 or the Lamar County CrimeStoppers at 903-785-TIPS.