HOUSTON - When police responded to a call about a shooting in the Houston suburb of Fulshear, Christy Sheats walked outside and greeted them with a handgun, so they shot her dead.
The incident that ultimately saw three people killed by gun violence happened about 5 p.m. Friday in front of a home just outside the Houston suburb of Fulshear. The Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office identified the deceased as 42-year-old Christy Sheats and her daughters, 22-year-old Taylor Sheats and 17-year-old Madison Sheats.
Sheriff Troy Nehls says the shooting of the younger Sheats sisters apparently climaxed a family argument, but the reason for the argument remains unclear.
Nehls says the two younger women had already been shot when a Fulshear police officer arrived and saw the mother with a gun in her hand, apparently preparing to shoot one of her daughters again. The officer shot and killed the woman.
Austin Enke, a neighbor who says he went to high school with one of the victims, told CBS affiliate KHOU he can't believe what happened.
"It's crazy. The neighborhood has never seen this kind of thing before. It's always quiet. This is surprising. They never showed any kind of thing that was wrong with them whatsoever," he said.
Detectives told KHOU the woman's husband was in the home at the time of the shooting and ran to the neighbor's for help.
"I think it would be shocking for anyone, anywhere, whether you're in Fort Bend or Harris or anywhere in the country." Nehls said.
Detectives also said they recovered a handgun from the scene and are looking into whether the mother fired at responding officers before she was shot.
Jezebel reports Christy Sheats had expressed support on Facebook for her right to carry a semi-automatic handgun recently, writing: "It would be horribly tragic if my ability to protect myself or my family were to be taken away, but that's exactly what Democrats are determined to do by banning semi-automatic handguns."