crimesider

Cops: Man who allegedly killed six relatives on Christmas day was dressed as Santa

Grapevine police investigate the scene where they found seven people dead outside Dallas in Grapevine, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2011. Four women and three men who police believe to be related were found apparently shot to death, and authorities said they believe the shooter is among the dead. AP Photo/Mike Fuentes

Grapevine police investigate the scene where they found seven people dead outside Dallas in Grapevine, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2011. Four women and three men who police believe to be related were found apparently shot to death, and authorities said they believe the shooter is among the dead.
Grapevine police investigate the scene where they found seven people dead outside Dallas in Grapevine, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2011.
AP Photo/Mike Fuentes

(CBS/AP) GRAPEVINE, Texas - Police say a man in Texas believed to have fatally shot six family members on Christmas day before committing suicide was dressed as Santa Claus.

On Monday, Grapevine police spokesman Sgt. Robert Eberling said the shooter, a member of the family, showed up in the Santa outfit shortly before gunfire erupted. The identity of the shooter and the victims will be released after autopsies are conducted Monday, he said.

Police went to the apartment during the day on Sunday after receiving a 911 call in which no one was on the other line. They found four women and three men, aged 18 to 60, dead. A motive for the shootings remains unclear.

"It appears they had just celebrated Christmas. They had opened their gifts," Grapevine Police Sgt. Robert Eberling said Sunday, adding that the apartment was decorated for the holiday, including a tree.

Two handguns were found near the bodies and it appears all died of gunshot wounds, he said.

Grapevine Police Lt. Todd Dearing said investigators believe that the victims were related, although some were visiting and didn't live in the apartment. He said police are looking for other relatives to inform of the deaths.

Police and firefighters first rushed to the Lincoln Vineyards complex after receiving the open-ended 911 call at about 11:30 a.m., Eberling said.

"There was an open line. No one was saying anything," he explained.

The apartment is located in the middle-class neighborhood of Grapevine, not far from the upscale Fort Worth suburb of Colleyville.

Many of the nearby apartments are vacant and police said no neighbors reported hearing anything on Christmas morning.

Eberling says the shootings involved the first homicides in Grapevine since 2010.

More on Crimesider:

December 26, 2011 - Police: 7 found shot dead in Dallas-area apartment

  • Crimesider Staff

Comments

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.