Near Dallas, 7 Found Shot to Death Amid Their Unwrapped Gifts
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Police officers responding to a silent call from someone who dialed 911 in a Dallas suburb on Sunday morning found seven people dead in an apartment, all shot shortly after opening their Christmas presents. The gunman was among the dead, and the seven appeared to be related, the police said.
The bodies -- four women and three men -- were found by police officers and firefighters who arrived shortly after the call came in at 11:30 a.m. Their identities had not been released late Sunday, but the police said that three of the people -- two women and a man -- were "young adults" and that the other four were middle-aged. Two handguns were recovered at the scene, and the police said they believed one of the older men had been the gunman.
"It appears that they had opened their presents," said Sgt. Robert Eberling, the spokesman for the police department of the suburb, Grapevine. "It looked like they were gathering up the wrapping papers and all that stuff." There was no sign of forced entry or struggle, he said.
The victims were found in the open-plan living room and kitchen area of an apartment in a complex called Lincoln Vineyards. Few neighbors were home at the time of the shooting, Sergeant Eberling said. A resident of a nearby apartment told the police he had heard nothing.
"We believe that the 911 call originated from the land line in the apartment," Sergeant Eberling said. "We're wondering if one of the victims had called but wasn't able to speak on the phone. It was just silence on the other end."
The apartment complex is on Hall-Johnson Road in Grapevine, just west of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
"This was a higher-end apartment complex, a nice community where you rarely have any issues here that we would have to respond to," Sergeant Eberling said. The police had no history of responding to any calls from that apartment, he said.
Sergeant Eberling said this was the first homicide in Grapevine since 2010, when a double killing took place on June 20, Father's Day.
Steve Kenny contributed reporting.
First Published December 26, 2011 12:00 am