Three dead in apparent murder-suicide

September 1, 2009 5:05:04 PM PDT
Three people were slain at a Galveston home. It all started late Monday night, when neighbors said they heard gunfire and called police. Early this morning, police discovered the bodies of three people at the home on Avenue M near 38th Street. Police are not yet confirming the name of the alleged gunman, because his next of kin has not yet been notified. They describe the triple slaying as a domestic argument that got out of control quickly. It has left a father and a community grieving.

"Coward," said Joel Randle.

That's how Randle describes the man who police say killed his 21-year-old daughter Jackie Randle and his ex-wife, Joyce Randle, before taking his own life. Police say the man shot and killed Joyce, leaving her dead body outside, then turned the gun on her daughter Jackie, and finally on himself.

Police were called to the scene of the double murder suicide just after 10pm Monday. A SWAT team saw Joyce's dead body on the lawn, and stood outside the house until just after 6am, hoping to negotiate a surrender. But when they entered, they found Jackie Randle's lifeless body and the body of the suspected gunman.

Joel recalled, "She loved life and she loved me, and she loved her mama and she loved her sister."

Neighbors who watched the ordeal unfold overnight say the alleged gunman had lived with Joyce for the last couple of years. Joel had worked for the man in the past and he always believed his daughter and his ex-wife were in danger.

"Yeah, I warned her, stay out of the house. Don't go there," he said. "He kept guns. I don't have guns in my house."

Joyce's coworkers at the Home Depot said she was ending the relationship and that may be what led to the shooting. But they say Joyce was a happy and positive woman, who never said that she felt threatened.

"She was a positive woman. She was out-going," recalled Nicole Commiato, Joyce's co-worker. ""Every day whenever I would come in to work, she would always greet me with a smile."

Police do not yet have a motive in this case. They say they have never been called to this house before for a domestic violence situation.

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