A 36-year-old man was arrested early Tuesday on suspicion of going on a killing rampage through Terrell, Texas, leaving five people dead at four locations, police said.
Charles Everett Brownlow Jr., 36, was arrested by police in Terrell, about 30 miles east of Dallas, ending eight hours of terror that included a high-speed car chase in the North Texas community. Charges are pending.
“We’re all in a state of shock,” Police Chief Jody Lay said at a televised news conference. “You have a tendency to think, ‘How can that happen here?' This is a country community, a rural community, people are real close. This is going to be, it’s going to have a really big impact on us.”
Police have not yet released the victims’ names or explained their relationship, if any, to the suspect.
According to Lay, the incident began around 5 p.m. Monday when a woman was shot in the head in a home in Terrell.
About 30 minutes later, firefighters responded to an arson fire at a house blocks away. When the fire was extinguished, crews found a woman’s body in the smoldering wreckage, Lay said.
About 10:30 p.m., Terrell police responded to a call about a shooting and found the bodies of a man and a woman who had been shot near a 3-year-old boy who was unharmed. The child was released to relatives, Lay said.
Minutes later, an off-duty police officer saw a vehicle linked to the earlier events at a convenience store and called it in to authorities. The suspect ran from the store, jumped into the vehicle and sped away, Lay said. After a high-speed chase, the suspect wrecked the car and fled on foot into thick woods, dropping his weapon, Lay said.
A police helicopter and dogs assisted in the manhunt, and the suspect was found hiding in a creek about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, Lay said.
The fifth victim, a male clerk, was found slain at the convenience store.
“We’re still in the process of putting this massive investigation together. We’re still making sure that surviving family members are appropriately notified,” Lay told reporters.