Texas man shoots wife, four children before killing himself

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A Texas man whose wife had recently accused him of assault shot her and their four young children at their home in Bay City on Wednesday before killing himself, police said Thursday.

Jose Avila, 24, shot each child, ages 2 to 5, in the head, according to the Associated Press.

Avila shot his wife at least three times, twice inside the family's mobile home and at least once in the yard just as a nearby school was letting out, police Lt. Andrew Lewis told the news service.

Two of the children, 3- and 5-year-old brothers, died at a hospital in Houston, about 65 miles to the northeast.

The two other children, ages 2 and 4, were on life support Thursday, and Avila's wife was hospitalized, officials said.

Police have not released the victims' names. They received a report Nov. 22 from Avila's wife that he had assaulted her, but she refused to press charges, Lewis told the Associated Press. The woman went to a shelter, but eventually returned to the family's mobile home, he said.

Police said that Avila and his wife had a confrontation at the mobile home just before the shooting.

“We heard … that he was walking around waving a gun,” Lewis told the Associated Press.

Neighbors said the family moved to the mobile home about 18 months ago. The Bay City mayor told My Fox Houston that the community is planning a candlelight vigil for the children who were shot.

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Photo: A shrine for a family is seen outside the mobile home where they were shot Wednesday in Bay City, Texas. Two children among the six people found shot died at a hospital, officials said. Credit: Cody Duty / Houston Chronicle

 
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Rene Lynch has been an editor and writer in Metro, Sports, Business, Calendar and Food. @ReneLynch

As an editor and reporter, Michael Muskal has covered local, national, economic and foreign issues at three newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. @latimesmuskal


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