BAY CITY, Texas (AP) - A man who shot his wife and four young children, killing two of them in an attack that spilled onto their front lawn, was accused last week of assaulting her but she declined to press charges, police said Thursday.
Jose Avila, 24, shot each of his children in the head and shot his wife at least three times, twice inside the family's Bay City mobile home and at least once in the yard just as a nearby school was letting out, police Lt. Andrew Lewis said. Avila then killed himself.
Two of the children, 3- and 5-year-old brothers, died of their wounds at a Houston hospital. The two other children, ages 2 and 4, were on life support Thursday, authorities said. Avila's wife was also remained in the hospital, though police did not know her condition.
Police did not release the victims' names, but friends identified the wife as Laura Gonzalez.
Lewis said police got a report on Nov. 22 from Gonzalez that Avila had assaulted her, but she refused to press charges. He said she went to a shelter, but that he didn't know how many days she was there or when she returned to the family's mobile home.
Police said Avila and his wife argued inside the trailer Wednesday just before the shooting began, and that at least one student witnessed the shooting outside the home.
Neighbors said Avila's body was lying in the front yard when police arrived. At least one of the couple's children was found in a vehicle.
"We heard ... that he was walking around waving a gun," Lewis said.
Neighbors said the family moved into the home in Bay City, which is 65 miles southwest of Houston, about 18 months ago. The attack came as a shock to many residents in the normally quiet community.