FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas – A chilling text message and a phone call paint a picture of a Fort Bend County man’s final moments as he carried out an unthinkable act of violence.
Investigators said 58-year-old Ali Edris turned the gun on himself after killing his wife, 33-year-old Sofya Ali, and son from a previous marriage, 24-year-old Edris Edris.
A family friend, who wishes not to be named, said that Ali Edris texted him around the same time as the shootings. The text reportedly asked for the friend to take care of his 8-year-old son.
The friend said that Ali then called him and shot himself while on the phone.
“Maybe he was holding things in and wasn’t talking to anybody. When you hold things in, it doesn’t help you. You need to talk to people. You need to let things out,” said family friend, Henok Baraki.
Henok Baraki became friends with Edris Edris while in elementary school. He said his childhood friend overcame some tough obstacles after moving to this country from Ethiopia at a very young age.
“His mother passed away man. He came here. He had cancer. He almost died. It hurts,” cried Baraki.
Baraki said Ali Edris always appeared to be a “loving father” and seemed to want the best for his family.
Baraki and other friends said Edris Edris got into some trouble in his youth. However, those friend told KHOU 11 News that the Travis High School Graduate turned his life around about two years ago.
“He lost contact with everybody. He changed his life. He was more religious to the Muslim religion. He was going to school,” added Baraki.
Baraki said Edris Edris was excited to be starting a new job at Methodist Hospital on Monday. Edris Edris was killed on the eve of his 25th birthday.
Neighbors left balloons and a sign outside the home in the 8200 block of Aliso Canyon Lane to honor him.
According to family friends, Edris Edris had developed a close relationship with his stepmother Sofya. The two were much closer in age than Sofya and his father.
“You see them year after year and think everything is okay, and then one day the world turns to Armageddon,” said neighbor Victor Parraga.
Investigators said they were still sorting through rumors to figure out a concrete motive on Wednesday afternoon.
Deputies said the couple’s 8-year-old son hid in a closet before running to a neighbor’s house to call 911. That child is now at a family friend’s house.
A Child Protective Services hearing is set for 1:00 p.m. on Thursday. CPS said it has no history with this family.
“For a kid to see something, so, so, so tragic, we can’t imagine,” said neighbor Gustavo Parraga.
A friend of Ali Edris said he just saw him hours before the shootings while on his shift as a taxi driver. He said everything appeared to be fine.
“He’s a very nice person, a community person, helping everybody. It’s really sad,” said friend Kebret Mohammad. “He’s my best friend. I don’t know what’s going on.”
Mohammad said the man he’s been friends with for 26 years also worked at a bellman at a downtown Houston hotel.
Fort Bend County Sheriffs' Office said it had responded to the family’s home in the past for some minor things but nothing that explains what happened.