Man allegedly shoots wife, then himself

November 30, 2008 5:48:09 AM PST
Authorities say a man shot and killed his estranged wife before shooting himself in the head early Saturday morning while as many as 20 people hid in the house. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

It happened at a home on Pouter near Gaby Virbo in west Houston. Officials also say a Harris County Sheriff's deputy shot the man at the same time he was shooting himself in the head.

Up to 20 people, including children, were hiding in closets and bedrooms in the home as they took cover.

Family members identified the couple as Charles Smith and Myrle Smith. The two had been married 39 years but separated in September.

"She was a nice lady. She was real nice," said Avis Terry, the victim's niece. "Every time, every gathering or party, she was always cooking for us. Anything we wanted, she did it for us. I loved her very much and I'm going to miss her."

When deputies arrived, the man was pressing a gun to his head and told deputies he wasn't coming out of the house.

"When deputies arrived on scene, they were immediately flagged down by a couple of gentlemen out here in the roadway saying that a man inside the residence had a shotgun, so they proceeded with caution to that residence and as they approached the front door, they could see a man inside holding a weapon to his head," said Lt. John Legg with the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

As deputies spoke to him through a door, he momentarily placed the gun down, then picked it up with the barrel aimed toward his head and a deputy.

After a brief verbal exchange, he fired as he was simultaneously hit by a blast from a deputy's shotgun.

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