A 26-year-old man in North Texas shot his teenage sister and wounded several police officers during an hours-long standoff before setting a house ablaze on Thursday night. Later on Friday, his body was found in the bushes at a nearby residence with an assault weapon and a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Police in Reno said that the suspect, Lain Christian, also threatened to shoot his mother but she somehow managed to escape and inform the police. The blaze could be controlled only on Friday after hours of struggle by the firefighters. Shootings across the United States have seen a spike over the past couple of months and police in the country are struggling to check the growing crime rate.
A Nightlong Struggle
Reno Police said that Christian shot two police officers in Parker County on Thursday night after being holed up for several hours in a house where he shot his 17-year-old sister Cierra Christian and threatened to shoot his mother. His mother managed to escape through the window and call the police.
Reno Police Chief Tony Simmons said that they responded around 6.15 pm after receiving a call on 911 from the 800 block of Harris Road in Reno, a rural area north of State Highway 99 near Eagle Mountain Lake. The caller identified herself as the suspect's mother and told that he was carrying a gun and was threatening to shoot people at home.
Responding to the call, officers from multiple departments, including the Fort Worth police SWAT team, arrived on the scene but Christian immediately started firing at the officers.
A Reno officer was shot several times in the arm and a Parker County deputy was also wounded after a bullet hit his holster. The Reno officer was treated and discharged on Friday from a Fort Worth hospital, while the Parker County deputy, a seven-year department veteran, is recovering at home.
Reno Police said that following the shooting, officers tried to negotiate with Christian over a loudspeaker. However, he was in no mood to listen. Later, he set the house on fire. Flames could be seen rising from the home around 12.15 am on Friday and firefighters could extinguish them only after a couple of hours. Police found the sister's body in the morning near the burnt home while combing the dwelling.
Christian, who managed to escape from the house, was found dead in the bushes of a nearby residence. He had a gunshot, which authorities believe is self-inflicted. Investigations are on as it is still unclear why Christian went on this shooting spree.
Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler commended the officers for responding immediately to the call. "With everything going on in the world if people realized these officers are protecting you, they don't have to do this. It was disturbing, to say the least, the officers stood up, did their jobs and protected the public," he said.