Police believe Texas mom fatally shot son, self

October 24, 2011 - 7:05 PM

SACHSE, Texas (AP) — Police say they believe a mother in suburban Dallas fatally shot her 7-year-old son and then killed herself on Friday as police waited outside with her estranged husband, who was there to pick up the child after receiving court-ordered custody.

Sachse police say the father had been given sole custody of the boy after an acrimonious and drawn-out divorce. Police Chief Dennis Veach told The Dallas Morning News that a "third party" had asked police to be present when the father, who lives in Murphy, came to pick up his son (http://bit.ly/oVimFH).

"I think there was some thought that there would be a problem with the transfer," Veach said. "There was no expectation of this level of violence, by the third party who called us, or anyone."

Police said in a statement that officers outside the house just before 11 a.m. Friday heard three shots inside. They forcibly entered and found the 43-year-old woman and the boy dead in an upstairs bedroom. Police said it appears she shot the child, then killed herself.

Veach said three officers responded because they all happened to be in the area. Two officers were at the front door and one was at the back.

The police chief said the father and the officers arrived at the home at the same time. The father knocked loudly on the door but got no response.

"While officers were outside, they heard three shots from inside the house," Veach said.

Authorities in Sachse, northeast of Dallas, did not identify those involved. Collin County's medical examiner was conducting autopsies.