HOUSTON—Police say a man shot and killed his 11-year-old daughter and wounded his wife and 14-year-old daughter before killing himself at a condominium in southwest Houston on Sunday.
Police said the incident happened at a complex in the 6100 block of Reims about 1:30 p.m.
The dead girl was shot multiple times, while her older sister was shot in the neck. The 43-year-old mother was wounded in the back. She and her older daughter were taken to Ben Taub General Hospital in critical condition. The mother was reportedly paralyzed, and the daughter underwent emergency surgery. Both were still critical Monday afternoon.
Police identified the father as Sardar Shaikh, 47, and his wife was Maria Gorena. The 11-year-old girl who died was Jacquline Shaikh. She attended KIPP Sharpstown Middle. Vivian Shaikh, 14, attends KIPP Houston High School.
Grief counselors were sent to both campuses Monday to help students cope with the tragedy.
“I think it’s very difficult to understand why things like this happen. It’s hard for adults to cope with it. It’s hard for us to really try and understand why tragedies happen, and it’s just heartbreaking,” Lupita Talley of KIPP Schools said.
Investigators said they believe the father just snapped, but they would not say why.
Some neighbors, though, said the family had marital and financial problems.
“He lost a job and everything. So he was behind two months’ rent,” said Harold Portillo.
A nearby convenience store owner said the couple had been customers for years and that they had recently divorced—but still lived together. Gorena also filed for a protective order back in 2000, but that was later dismissed.
“He was a very nice guy,” said Adam Dalami. “I was very shocked to hear that because I heard the gunshot. When I got out there, I see his body on the grass.”
A woman tried to perform CPR on Sardar Shaikh after he shot himself outside the complex.
“It was just, I think, a natural reaction, I work at a hospital. I saw him collapse. I ran over to give him CPR and he was lying on top of the gun. They were saying he shot himself in the head,” said Jaculynn Jackson.
Friends say Shaikh moved to the country from Pakistan more than 20 years ago and worked in the medical field.
“It’s shocking. It’s really, everybody’s shocked,” said Tasleem Siddiqui , president of the Pakastani American Association of Greater Houston.
Siddiqui said he’s been in contact with Shaikh’s family overseas.
“They can’t speak even. They didn’t believe it,” he said. “They were really shocked and wanted his body as soon as possible to be sent back home.”
Grief counselors were on hand today at the KIPP charter schools, were the girls attended.
“This is very hard on all of our students, all of our teachers, on everybody because we care so much about our students and they are part of our family,” said Lupita Talley with KIPP Sharpstown Middle School.
Anyone with additional information on the case is asked to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3200.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.