HOUSTON: A family of six children and two parents were fatally shot in the head at a Houston home by a man with a violent criminal history who had previously been in a contentious relationship with the mother, authorities said Sunday.
David Conley, 48, was charged with capital murder in the deaths. Most of the victims had been handcuffed and some had been shot multiple times, said Sgt. Craig Clopton.
The dead were identified as parents Dewayne Jackson, 50, his wife Valerie Jackson, 40, and children Nathaniel, 13, Dewayne, 10, Honesty, 11, Caleb, 9, Trinity, 7, and Jonah, 6. Nathaniel was believed to be Conley's son from the relationship with Valerie Jackson. Police had earlier said that there were three adults and five children killed.
"We do not — cannot — fully comprehend the motivation of an individual that would take the lives of so many innocent people. Especially the lives of the young ones," said Chief Deputy Tim Cannon. "The killer's motives appear to be related to a dispute with Valerie, who was his former domestic partner."
Conley, who is being held in Jail, didn't appear at a court hearing Sunday where an arrest affidavit was read. The judge denied him bond. Conley doesn't yet have an attorney.
Authorities were first alerted about a problem at the home when a relative of Valerie Jackson's contacted the sheriff's office to conduct a welfare check at the home.
A standoff ensued for several hours between Conley and authorities until Conley surrendered, said Clopton.
Investigators declined to say when on Saturday the victims were shot or if any victims were alive when deputies first tried to enter the home.
Conley told authorities that he discovered on Saturday morning that the locks had been changed at the home after he had moved out. He entered the home through an unlocked window, according to the affidavit.
Court records show Conley's criminal history dates back to at least 1988, with the most recent incident last month, when was charged with assault. In court documents, authorities say the suspect had been arrested for allegedly assaulting Valerie Jackson. The attack happened at the home where the bodies were found and documents say he had a dating relationship with her.
Authorities declined to comment on assault charges Conley had faced in the past in connection with his relationship with Valerie Jackson or what prompted relatives to worry and request that deputies be sent to the home on Saturday.