Terrell police capture suspect accused of killing five people
POSTED: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 1:43pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 1:45pm
Terrell, TX — Terrell police have captured the man suspected in multiple overnight shootings that left five people dead overnight Monday.
Charles Brownlow was captured by officers early Tuesday morning after allegedly killing his mother, his aunt, and three others. Following his arrest, Terrell Police Chief Jody Lay spoke to the media.
"We’re all in a state of shock. You have a tendency to think, 'How can that happen here?'" said Lay. "This is a country community, a rural community. People are real close and this is going to have a really big impact on us."
The investigation started after a call to a home in the 300 block of Tyler Street in Terrell Monday evening. Inside the home, officers found a woman dead of an apparent gunshot wound. Neighbors told NBC 5 DFW that woman is Brownlow's aunt.
Investigators told NBC 5 that the body of another woman was found inside a home in the 300 block of Stallings Street. A member of the Terrell Fire Department saw smoke coming from the home at about 5:30 p.m. Monday and investigated, finding a body inside. People who know the victim told NBC 5 that victim is Brownlow's mother.
Police believe that home is where Brownlow had been living. Officers believe he stole a car from this location. Investigators described the fire that began in the home as being "very clearly arson."
A third incident occurred in the 800 block of North Francis Street where a shooting was reported at about 10 p.m. Monday. Police believe it may be the home of Brownlow's girlfriend. Though a shooting was reported, no one at this address was injured.
Lay said two other people, a man and a woman, were found fatally shot inside a house on Eulalia Street at about 10:27 p.m. A 3-year-old that was in the house during the shooting was not injured.
Ten minutes later, Lay said Brownlow traveled to Ali's Market convenience store along U.S. Highway 80 in the 700 block of West Moore Avenue. Lay said Brownlow allegedly killed the clerk inside the store then jumped in the car and took off after officers spotted him.
The victim at the store was identified by a friend at the scene as Luis Leal. Police believe he was randomly targeted by the alleged shooter.
Following that shooting, police pursued Brownlow back toward the neighborhood where it all started. The high-speed chase traveled through several neighborhoods before Brownlow crashed the car through a fence off College Mound and bailed out of the vehicle. He then fled into a wooded area.
Texas Department of Public Safety troopers searched for Brownlow in the area using a helicopter and infrared cameras. Brownlow was eventually caught and taken into custody at about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.
The Garland Police Department, Department of Public Service, Kaufman County Sheriff's Department, Terrell Police Department and the Texas Rangers are all investigating this situation.
Kaufman County has dealt with multiple incidents of high-profile violence this year, including the slayings of their district attorney and top prosecutor.
"We’ve had a tough year here in Kaufman County and this makes it a little bit tougher, but we’re going to get through it," Lay said. "We’re resilient. We’re going to rise above it. We’re going to get through it."
The Terrell Police Department plans to hold a news conference at 3 p.m. Tuesday to update the investigation.