A Baytown mother shot her husband, two children and herself in a guest room of an upscale Galveston resort hotel Monday, police said.
All four died in an apparent murder-suicide that shook the island and left police searching for a motive.
Police were summoned to the San Luis Resort, 5222 Seawall Blvd., about 4:30 a.m. by a 911 caller who reported hearing “pops” in an eighth-floor room.
Officers found the door dead-bolted and heard moans coming from inside, Galveston Police Capt. Joshua Schirard said.
They forced their way into the room, and found a gruesome scene.
Three people, a 39-year-old man, a 10-year-old boy and a 5-year-old boy were lying together on one of the room’s beds. A 37-year-old woman was on the floor with a 9 mm handgun nearby.
All four people had been shot, Schirard said.
The woman and one of the boys still showed signs of life, Schirard said. They were taken to a University of Texas Medical Branch hospital, where they later died.
During an afternoon news conference, police said the family was from Baytown and had checked into the resort hotel about 7 p.m. Sunday.
Detectives were still searching for a motive Monday afternoon.
“The motive is unknown at this time, but forensic data at the scene indicates that the female is believed to be the shooter,” Schirard said.
There was no sign of a struggle in the hotel room, police said.
An official with Landry’s Inc., which owns the San Luis Resort, said the hotel was cooperating with police in the investigation.
“Our thoughts are with the victims and their family members during this difficult time,” said Paul Schultz, vice president of hospitality for Landry’s.
Neither the Galveston Police Department nor the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office released the names of the victims or the alleged shooter Monday.
A hospital spokesman, however, confirmed that Flor Demaria Pineda de Canas, of Baytown, had been admitted to the hospital in critical condition Monday morning.
Pineda de Canas has the same listed address as the registered owner of a silver Jeep Wrangler that police towed away from the hotel parking lot on Monday morning.
Galveston police said they had not contacted authorities in Baytown about the killings.
On Monday afternoon, the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District, which serves Baytown, confirmed that two students had died. The boys were in kindergarten and fifth grade at Victoria Walker Elementary School, district officials told The Baytown Sun.
“The tragic circumstances surrounding these students’ deaths are almost too much to bear,” district spokeswoman Beth Dombrowa told The Sun.
“We are grieving for the loss of young life and its infinite possibilities and we pray for the family, friends and students most affected by this tragedy.”
This was the second fatal shooting on the hotel property in less than a year.
In April 2017, San Luis security guard Phillip Molis was shot and killed in a parking lot behind the hotel.
In October 2017, a 19-year-old Missouri City man was charged with murder in connection to Molis’ death.
The incident Monday likely is the highest casualty shooting in Galveston since one person was killed and four others injured during the city’s Mardi Gras celebration in 1999.
“It’s definitely not one of those things that we experience here in Galveston very often,” Schirard said.
The staff of The Baytown Sun contributed to this report.