Seven people from were shot dead in a suburban Fort Worth apartment as they had opened their Christmas gifts, police said yesterday.
According to authorities, the shooter appeared to be among the dead, but got a warrant before doing a full search on the small chance that it was otherwise.
Four women and three men, aged 18 to 60, were found in an adjoining kitchen and living room area when police entered the apartment around midday, said Grapevine Police Sergeant Robert Eberling.
Two handguns were found near the bodies in the apartment that was decorated for the holiday with a tree, Robert Eberling added.
“It appears they had just celebrated Christmas. They had opened their gifts,” he said.
The victims have not yet been identified, but Robert Eberling said it appears they all died of gunshot wounds. He said authorities still don’t know what sparked the incident.
Grapevine Police Lieutenant Todd Dearing said investigators believe that all the victims were related, but that some were only visiting and didn’t live in the apartment. He said police are looking for other relatives to inform.
“Seven people in one setting in Grapevine, that’s never happened before. Ever,” Todd Dearing said.
He said police were performing a “meticulous” search of the apartment and he expects them to be on the scene for many hours.
Police and firefighters first rushed to the Lincoln Vineyards complex after receiving an open-ended 911 call at about 11:30 a.m., Robert Eberling said.
“There was an open line. No one was saying anything,” he explained.
Police went into the apartment, located in a middle-class, suburban neighborhood of Grapevine, not far from the upscale Fort Worth neighborhood of Colleyville. The apartment is at the back of the complex, overlooking the athletic fields of Colleyville Heritage High School.
But many of the nearby apartments are vacant, and police said no neighbors reported hearing anything on a quiet Christmas morning when many people were not around.