GALENA PARK, Texas — Four people were killed Saturday night in an apparent murder-suicide in Galena Park, according to Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.
It happened around 10:30 p.m. at a home on 2nd Street near N. Main St. and Clinton Dr.
According to Gonzalez, a 12-year-old called the Galena Park Police Department and said she was sexually assaulted by her mother's boyfriend, who also shot people at the house. She told police that she grabbed her 1-year-old niece and ran to a neighbor's house for help when she got the opportunity.
When authorities got to the home, they found three girls who had been shot to death. According to family members, sisters Sayuri Gill, 19, and Melany Torres, 13, were found dead. They said Gill was six months pregnant and the mother of the 1-year-old who survived the incident. A 14-year-old family friend was also killed in the shooting.
A 38-year-old man was found dead in the primary bedroom with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.
According to Gonzalez, the man was in a relationship with the homeowner, who is the mother of Gill, Torres and the surviving 12-year-old girl. Authorities said the mother wasn't home at the time of the shootings. Gonzalez also said the man was not the father of any of the girls he killed.
Gonzalez said the man started shooting at the girls following an argument. He shot Gill before shooting Torres and the 14-year-old family friend, officials said. He then assaulted the 12-year-old and told her to run for her life.
"He then proceeded to sexually assault a 12-year-old that was inside the residence," Gonzalez said. "After that, he told her to go ahead and run from the house ... she did so and ran out of the residence without any clothing."
The 12-year-old survivor was taken to a hospital to be treated for her injuries, the extent of which are unknown.
"It's just a tragic situation. It makes no sense, it's all senseless and it's very tragic," Gonzalez said. "But our investigators will try to put all the pieces together and our condolences go out to the victim's families and everyone impacted by this and the entire city as well."
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help with funeral expenses for the 14-year-old.
Neighbors said they were in disbelief and shock. Some have lost sleep over the incident.
"No, I couldn't ... just thinking about those young girls losing their lives. It’s just unbelievable," one neighbor said.
Maria Del Consuelo Reyes-Hernandez jumped in to help when she saw the 12-year-old and 1-year-old survivors. She said she saw the girl, who wasn't wearing any clothes, carrying the baby. She and another neighbor brought the girls in and gave them some clothes.
Reyes-Hernandez said the girl told her what she had just endured. She said the girl told her that she ran from the house after she was sexually assaulted and told that she would be killed unless she left.
In Houston, domestic and family violence cases have increased at an alarming rate. Victims often suffer in silence because they feel scared, helpless or ashamed.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, here are some discreet ways to reach out for help.
The Houston Area Women’s Center has a 24-hour hotline for victims of domestic violence at 713-528-2121 or 1-800-256-0551.
The Family Time Crisis Center can also be reached 24 hours a day at 281-446-2615.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
Crisis Text Line: Text START to 88788.