Victims in Texas shooting may have San Diego ties

SAN DIEGO - The couple and their four children killed in a shooting at a home in suburban Houston Wednesday evening may have had San Diego area connections.

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.

10News learned early Thursday morning that the Stays may have attended San Marcos High School.
 
A local woman who identified herself as Kathleen Hofer, a family friend to both the Stays and the suspected shooter, 33-year-old Ronald Lee Haskell, told 10News the Stays and Haskell were from San Marcos.

“I know this person,” Hofer said of Haskell. “I’ve known him for years, and this is inconceivable to me.”

Authorities have confirmed that a gunman killed the Stays and their four children, as well as critically wounding their 15-year-old daughter. Hofer told 10News the girl was out of surgery and is expected to survive.

Haskell has been charged with capital murder in the killings.

Haskell may have been Katie Stay’s brother-in-law, 10News also discovered. A spokesperson for the Harris County Sheriff's Office in Texas also confirmed to 10News by email that Haskell was born in California.

The sheriff's office says Haskell persuaded the children he was a FedEx delivery man in order to gain access to their home in Spring, TX. He then demanded to know the whereabouts of his estranged wife.
 
Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Ron Hickman says Haskell was charged Thursday with multiple counts of capital murder.
 
Hickman corrected an earlier report that said Haskell was the father of the children. He did not release details of Haskell's relationship to the family, but described the couple killed as the children's parents.
 
Haskell was arrested after a standoff with authorities lasting more than three hours.

Hofer said Stephen and Katie had a loving relationship.

“He (Stephen) and Katie met shortly after he returned from serving an LDS mission, and fell in love and were married and had five beautiful children,” Hofer said.

Hofer said Stephen worked in real estate, while Katie was a church and school volunteer.

“Katie was the perfect mom…  always doing things for her kids,” Hofer said.

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