A Texas man shot four family members including his eight-year-old niece, before turning the gun on himself, authorities have said.
Alrick “Shawn” Barrett, 46 opened fire at a home in suburban Houston just before 7am on Saturday, killing his estranged wife, her two siblings, and the young girl.
The incident occurred after Barrett returned his young child from a visit, Fort Bend County Sheriff Eric Fagan said at a news conference on Wednesday.
Mr Fagan said that after arriving at the home, Barrett told his estranged wife that he wanted to reunite, but she refused.
Officers responded to the home after getting a call from a 13-year-old boy – identified by the sheriff’s office as Barrett’s nephew – in the home.
The sheriff’s office said that the 13-year-old and Barrett’s seven-year-old child hid during the shooting and were not harmed. The mother of Barrett’s estranged wife was also in the home and was also unharmed.
In addition to killing his niece and estranged wife, who was 44, Barrett also killed her 43-year-old brother and 46-year-old sister, according to the sheriff’s office. Sheriff Fagan said the names of the deceased would not immediately be released.
He added that some of the family members lived in the home, while others were visiting.
Last January, authorities had responded to a disturbance call because of a verbal argument between Barrett and his estranged wife.
At Wednesday’s news conference, Sheriff Fagan said that they were still looking into Barrett’s background but so far hadn’t found any further interaction between him and their office.
The sheriff’s office said that since it remains an ongoing investigation, details about the weapon Barrett used are not available at this time.
Additional reporting from The Associated Press.