HOUSTON — A 7-year-old ran to a neighbor for help Thursday after her mother's new husband apparently shot her mother and then himself.
The couple were killed in the murder-suicide around 2 a.m. CT that took place in an upstairs bedroom of the two-story home that was part of a complex of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, authorities said.
Police have not released the couple's names, but family members said they are Phillip Deckard and Candace Williams Deckard, 27, and were recently married.
"Her baby came running to my door. I was asleep," the neighbor, Brittnee Phillips, told KPRC-TV, Houston. "(She was) running to the door saying, 'My mama's dead. My mama's dead!' And I didn't know what to do."
Phillips went to the girl's house to get the couple's two other children, ages 1 and 6, then called police. None of the children was hurt, officials said.
"I just got up and ran and put some clothes on and went down there," Phillips said to KPRC-TV. "Her body and his body were on the floor and the baby was in the room."
Neighbors had heard arguing from time to time but nothing to indicate a problem with violence, Houston homicide Detective J.T. Barringer said.
Phillips said she has had to call police in the past because of fighting in the home.
"This was really unexpected," said David Sweazie, Williams Deckard's uncle. "There was no indication of any problems, so I get a call at 4 o'clock this morning and somebody said, 'Man, I think something happened to your niece.' "
An investigation into the incident is continuing; no motive has been determined, police said.
The children's grandmother and great-grandmother now are caring for the three kids, Sweazie said.
"We have a large family, and we're tight knit," he said. "We're just going to have to see what's going to happen."