Houston shooting: Family of eight handcuffed and shot dead in Texas

A mother, a father and their six children were each handcuffed and shot in the head

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Eight members of the same family were handcuffed and shot in the head at their home.

David Conley, 48, has been charged with capital murder in relation to the deaths of a mother, a father and their six children. It is alleged that he is the former partner of the woman who was killed.

Authorities have identified the dead as Dewayne Jackson, 50, his wife Valeria Jackson, 40, and children Nathaniel, 13, Dewayne, 10, Honesty, 11, Caleb, 9, Trinity, 7, and Jonah, 6.

Police say they were alerted to the family home when a relative of Valeria Jackson contacted them and requested a welfare check.

When they arrived at the home, a stand-off reportedly ensued between Conley and officers for some hours until the man surrendered.

An affidavit read at a court hearing yesterday said that Conley told police he had arrived at his ex-partner’s home to find that the locks had been changed at the property since he moved out. He said that he then entered through an unlocked window.

Chief Deputy Tim Cannon said: “We do not - cannot - fully comprehend the motivation of an individual that would take the lives of so many innocent people. Especially the lives of the young ones.”

Conley's estranged wife Vernessa Conley told reporters that she had been physically assaulted by him on a number of occasions throughout their marriage. She said: "I was pregnant with my daughter, he would threaten me; to kill me and the baby."

She said she had warned one of the victims to stay away from Conley because of her concerns about his violent behaviour. She added: "He's the devil."

Court records showed that Conley had a criminal record dating back to 1988, including having been arrested on suspicion of previously assaulting Valerie in the home where the killings took place.

With additional reporting by AP