Boy, 7, dies after being shot by couple

May 9, 2009 3:10:50 PM PDT
Two homeowners have been charged with shooting four people, including two children.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

One of the children, Donald Coffee, Jr., 7, died Saturday morning at Memorial Hermann Hospital. The other child shot, Destiny Coffee, 5, was discharged from the hospital Friday.

Liberty County officials tell us the homeowners claim the victims were trespassing on their property in the Westlake subdivision last night, but investigators say the shooting was not justified.

Gayle and Sheila Muhs have been both charged with aggravated assault. It was around 9pm when investigators say the four shooting victims -- identified as Donald Coffee, 40, Donald Coffee, Jr., 7, Destiny Coffee, 5, and Patrick Cammack, 30 -- pulled over near a man-made lake.

As the victims were stopped, investigators say the Muhs opened fire. They say the wife fired first, then handed the shotgun to her husband, who also fired.

According to investigators, Sheila Muhs called 911 and calmly said that someone was on their property and she shot them. There is some dispute as to where the victims were actually shot.

"The first version that we heard is that these people who had been shot were driving their vehicle over this area that surrounds a lake in the Westlake subdivision. That's one version that we had," said Chief Deputy Ken DeFoor with the Liberty County Sheriff's Department. "Another version of the story came from an 11-year-old boy who was with the people when they were shot and he said, 'No, we were in the road. We were not in the woods on the dike and we had stopped on the side of the road, it was after dark, to relieve ourselves when they came out and started shooting at us'."

The shooting victims managed to get to a fire station, where three were taken by a medical helicopter to Memorial Hermann Hospital.

"A fire station down in the West Lake area is known as a gathering spot and they knew they could get help there," said Hugh Bishop with the Liberty County Sheriff's Office. "So that is probably why they went there. I haven't talked to any of the victims yet, but that is where the helipad is and everybody knows if they need help, there is a fire station."

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