SAN DIEGO - Court documents show the mother and sister of a California man accused of shooting a couple and their four children had each filed a request for a restraining order for alleged domestic violence.
Ronald Lee Haskell, 33, is in custody following a shooting at a home in suburban Houston Wednesday evening that left a mother, father and their four children dead. One child, a 15-year-old girl, survived but was critically wounded. A family friend said she had surgery and is expected to survive.
Charging documents identified the couple as Stephen and Katie Stay. The Houston Chronicle reported that 39-year-old Stephen and 34-year-old Katie resided at the address where the shooting occurred.
The Harris County Sheriff's Office in Texas said Haskell gained access to the home by telling the children he was a FedEx delivery man. Once inside, he demanded to know the whereabouts of his estranged wife. The sheriff's office said Haskell held several children at gunpoint until more family members arrived home.
Katie's father, Roger Lyon, released the following statement late Thursday:
"Stephen and Katie Stay and their beautiful children were an amazing and resilient family. They lived to help others, both at church and in their neighborhood. We love them beyond words.
"Cassidy Stay, 15, who survived the attack, is expected to make a full recovery. We are grateful for this miracle. We are in awe of her bravery and courage in calling 911, an act that is likely to have saved all of our lives. She is our hero. More information will be forthcoming in the days ahead about her heroics, but right now we want to concentrate on getting her well.
"We are also grateful for all who have reached out with their prayers, well-wishes and offers of help. We send our unending gratitude to law enforcement and first responders whose quick actions saved many lives.
"We are shocked and devastated by this tragedy that has taken these precious souls away from us. At this time, we are not able to make any statements or grant any interviews as our grief is difficult to bear. Please respect our privacy and that of our family members as we continue to try to make sense of what’s happened."
Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Ron Hickman said Haskell is married to the sister of the woman who was killed.
Haskell is from San Marcos, California, according to a family friend. His mother filed a request for a restraining order last week in San Diego. The request was granted. Here are some excerpts from the court document:
"The respondent became angry with me for speaking to his ex-wife. He ordered me to the garage where he grabbed for duct tape. I pushed the garaged door button and screamed for help. He forcefully covered my mouth with his hand and pushed me inside the home. He then duct taped my wrists together and then taped my right arm to a computer chair. While taped to the chair he yelled at me and twice placed his hands round my neck trying to choke me and caused me to pass out. He told me he was going to kill me, my family and any officer who stops him. He hid my telephones. I was taped up for four hours."
The suspect's sister had previously filed a request for a restraining order late last year for another incident. That restraining order was not granted. Here are some excerpts from the court document:
"I heard Ronald screaming at my mother, calling her a "b****." I asked him to stop screaming at our mother and he then turned his anger on me. He grabbed me by my throat and threw me to the ground. When my mother tried to stop him he grabbed her and threw here to the ground causing bruises on her knees. She has difficulties walking after the incident. When I got up he knocked me back down again, doing this several times. While attacking me, he elbowed me in my throat and punched me in the arm, causing a large bruise on my right arm (see Exhibit 1). During the incident I started calling 911 on my cell phone but Ronald grabbed my phone and has not yet returned it."
"Ronald has never physically abused me before but he is currently in the middle of a messy divorce, and his wife is accusing him of domestic violence."
"I am scared that if Ronald remains in the home, he will harm me again, which is why I seek this protection from the court."
Haskell has been charged with multiple counts of capital murder in the killings. His arraignment is scheduled for Friday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.