A family dispute led a Texas mother to fatally shoot her two daughters in the street on Friday before she was killed by a police officer, authorities said.
The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday identified the mother as 42-year-old Christy Sheats and her daughters, Taylor Sheats, 22, and Madison Sheats, 17.
Police responded to 911 calls about shots being fired shortly after 5 p.m. on Friday to find the two daughters lying on the street. Authorities said in a statement that an officer shot and killed the armed suspect after she refused to drop her weapon. One of the victims died at the scene, and the other later died after being brought to a hospital.
The mother’s motive is under investigation, but authorities believe the violence was sparked by an earlier fight the three may have had. “It was a family argument that turned into a shooting,” Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls told the Houston Chronicle. “But we’re still trying to put the pieces together.”
Nehls said deputies had been called to the family’s home in the past but did not provide additional details, according to CNN. The woman’s husband was home during the shooting and was taken away by paramedics, CNN reports. There were no other reported injuries.
“It would be too premature to give you a motive as to why something like this took place,” Nehls said. “The best we can do is pray for the father and husband so he can work through this.”
A Fort Bend County woman shot her two adult daughters Friday – killing one of them at the scene – before she was fatally shot by a responding police officer.
On Saturday, the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office identified the mother as Christy Sheats, 42, and her daughters as Taylor Sheats, 22, and Madison Sheats, 17.
Later, Fulshear police Facebook page reported one daughter was taken by Lifeflight to the Texas Medical Center and also died. It was unclear Saturday afternoon, which of the victims died at the scene and which was airlifted to the hospital.
The incident happened about 5 p.m. along the 6000 block of Remson Hollow in an unincorporated section near Fulshear.
When officers arrived to investigate a 911 call of “shots fired,” they found two women lying on the street in front of a home in a comfortable, middle class subdivision.
A Fulshear police officer shot and killed a third woman at the scene who was holding a pistol. Authorities said it was the mother of the two women on the ground.
One of the daughters of the suspected assailant was taken by LifeFlight to the Texas Medical Center where she was in critical condition, said Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls. The Fulshear Police confirmed that the second daughter later died, according to their Facebook page.
The motive for the shooting remains under investigation.
“It was a family argument that turned into a shooting,” Nehls said. “But we’re still trying to put the pieces together.”
As crowds of concerned neighbors began approaching, police quickly blocked off the street where the bodies were found.
Austin Enke said he knew the women slightly and had a couple of classes with at least one of them when they attended Seven Lakes High School.
“They were always cheerful and never depressed. You never heard anything bad about them,” Enke said.
Nehls said he did not know if the shooting actually happened inside the family’s home or on the street where the bodies were found.
Sheriff’s records show that deputies had been sent to the family home in the past on more than one occasion. “But as to why we were called here, I don’t know,” Nehls said.
Nehls added he did know if the mother pointed her weapon at the officer or whether she was still pointing it at her daughters when the officer arrived.
The sheriff said the father was at home when the shooting occurred. He was not injured but was distraught and taken to be checked out at a local hospital.
“He’s going through a very difficult time,” Nehls said.
Although the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation, other agencies such as the Fulshear police and the Texas Rangers are involved, Nehls said.
A Fort Bend County justice of the peace will likely call for an autopsy. If so, the bodies will be taken to Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences or the Galveston County Medical Examiners Office, Nehls said.