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Police: Suspect in killings of Houston family killed himself

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HOUSTON (AP) — A man suspected of killing a family of four and setting their Houston home on fire fatally shot himself as officers tried to arrest him Thursday, police said.

Firefighters discovered the bodies of a man and woman and two children Sunday morning after extinguishing a blaze at a southwest Houston home.

All four had been shot in the head, according to autopsies conducted by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences. Authorities have not released the names of the victims. Police have said the adults were in their 50s and the children were 10 to 13 years old.

The fire might have been an attempt to destroy evidence at the scene, police said.

Investigators identified a 23-year-old man who was the son of the woman who was killed as the only suspect in the killings, said Houston Police Assistant Chief Yasar Bashir. Authorities have not released the suspect’s name.

On Thursday, officers tracked down a truck that had been missing from the family’s home and found the suspect inside. Police believe the man had been sleeping inside the truck but when officers approached him, he was awake, Bashir said.

As officers neared the truck and began to give the man instructions, he shot himself once in the head, Bashir said.

The man was taken to a hospital, where he died.

Police are still trying to determine why the man was parked where they found him, less than four miles from the scene of Sunday’s killings.

Investigators believe a weapon found at the scene on Thursday is similar to the one used to kill the family, but additional testing needs to be done to confirm if it is the same weapon, Bashir said.

A specific motive has not been determined in the shooting of the family.

“We should not take family violence lightly,” Bashir said. “I think it’s really preventable if you reach out, get some additional help.”

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Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter: https://twitter.com/juanlozano70

By JUAN A. LOZANO
Associated Press

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