The town of Katy, Texas, was left reeling when Christy Sheats shot and killed her daughters on Friday, June 24. “It was a family argument that turned into a shooting,” Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls told the Houston Chronicle. “But we’re still trying to put the pieces together.” Though the motive remains under investigation, here is what we know so far:
Police Had Visited the Home Before
According to the Associated Press, officers had been called to Sheatses' house 14 times since 2012. At least some of the calls were "related to alarm issues," the AP reported, but the reasons for others could not be disclosed for legal reasons.
Christy Sheats Refused to Drop Her Weapon
When officers arrived at the Houston-area home shortly after 5 p.m. to investigate 911 calls of “shots fired,” they discovered Taylor Sheats, 22, and Madison Sheats, 17, lying in the street bleeding from gunshot wounds, according to a statement from the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office on its Facebook page. “The armed shooter was also in the street and, after refusing to drop her weapon, was shot and killed by a Fulshear officer,” the statement continued.
Madison died at the scene; Taylor was airlifted to Texas Medical Center but couldn’t be saved.
They Were Celebrating a Birthday
Sheats’ husband and the girls’ father, Jason Sheats, was celebrating his birthday that day, neighbors told KTRK-TV. He ran to neighbors for help, police told KHOU. The couple had recently reconciled after a separation, KTRK-TV reported. Though Jason — who witnessed the horrific scene unfold — was uninjured, police said he was taken to a hospital because he was so distraught.
A neighbor told KPRC-TV that he heard Jason say, “Don’t do this. They’re our kids.”
Loved Ones Can't Imagine the Motive
“This woman loved her children. That was her life purpose. That was her pride. That was her joy,” Christy’s friend Catherine Knowles told Time. “Christy wasn’t crazy. I don’t know what could have made her snap. To do this, it’s insanity. The whole thing.”
Knowles continued: “She loved God. She loved her kids. I don’t get it. I don’t get it at all.”
Christy Sheats Was an Advocate for the Second Amendment
“It would be horribly tragic if my ability to protect myself or my family were to be taken away,” the 42-year-old wrote in March on her Facebook page, “but that’s exactly what Democrats are determined to do by banning semi-automatic handguns.”
She Gushed About Her Daughters on Social Media
In September, Christy celebrated Daughter’s Day on Facebook. “Happy Daughter’s Day to my two amazing, sweet, kind, beautiful, intelligent girls,” she wrote. “I love and treasure you both more than you could ever possibly know.”
Both Taylor and Madison Had Bright Futures Ahead of Them
Taylor graduated with honors from Lone Star College, according to her Facebook page, and was an aspiring artist. Madison worked as a babysitter and was going to be a senior at Seven Lakes High School this fall, KTRK-TV reported.
“My heart is broken this morning to find that my sweet Madison Sheats lost her life. Always positive and smiling, Madison quickly became one of my favorite students four years ago while teaching for the first time in Katy,” Whitney Mae Bruce wrote on Facebook. “A wonderful student/person/babysitter will be missed enormously. Please pray for her father.”