Police and employees at a south-Texas nursing facility were still looking for a motive Sunday in the wake a murder-suicide that left five relatives dead Friday night.
A 60-year-old man shot his father and step-mother before killing himself in the father’s room at the Retama Manor Nursing Center, according to authorities in Robstown, TX. While still on the scene, police received a call that led to the discovery of the bodies of the shooter’s 41-year-old step-brother and a 13-year-old boy the couple had adopted. Both were dead of gunshot wounds at a house the couple owned “just down the road” from the nursing home, police said.
The deceased are Ernest Starry, 85; his wife, Thelma Montalvo; his son, Richard Starry (the suspected shooter); Montalvo’s grown son; and the teen-ager.
At a Saturday press conference, Police Chief Erasmo Flores praised staff at the facility, which is managed by Regency Integrated Health Services.
“I’d … like to thank the staff at Retama nursing home for doing a great job making sure that the residents at the facility were being taken care of,” Flores said. “It was chaotic, and great thanks to them. They did a wonderful job. They were cooperative with us, they assisted us. We did what we could, they did what they could, they brought in more staff members to secure their facility.”
One visitor at the 94-bed facility told a local news station Friday night that he heard a sharp noise that sounded like a ladder had fallen; he said people then yelled to run and clear the facility. The facility shooting was confined to one room, police confirmed.
A comment on the city’s Facebook page, attributed to Grace United Methodist Church, said the boy was a middle-school student and a Boy Scout. A special support and prayer service was planned for 7 p.m. Sunday at the church.
Mayor Mandy Barrera appealed on Facebook for unity and sympathy for all involved, as well as privacy for friends and families of the victims. Robstown is a city of just over 11,600 just west of Corpus Christi.
“Please keep our officers, first responders, Retama staff members, residents and families in your prayers as their experiences have been life-altering as well,” the mayor said.