Tragedy in upscale Houston neighborhood

May 10, 2010 12:04:25 PM PDT
A deadly shooting led to a SWAT standoff in an upscale neighborhood in southwest Houston Saturday night, and now we're learning new details about what happened. Investigators say the couple in the home was going through a divorce. Police say the man, identified as Kenneth McAfee, 59, shot his wife, and then himself at the home off Tangley and South Shepherd. McAfee was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital where he remains in critical condition, recovering from his self-inflicted gunshot wound to the face. He is now charged with murder.

It was an unusual scene for the pristine streets of South Hampton near Rice University; one that has all the neighbors talking.

On Saturday night, police rushed to the home in response to a panic alarm. Two people were inside -- a husband and wife. Authorities knocked on the door and the husband answered, but they could only hear the wife.

"First responding officers did make verbal contact with the female," said Sgt. C. Howard with the Houston Police Department. "She said she was not OK when asked. That's when the male slammed the door in their faces."

Those were some of Janet McAfee's last words. Police say the 50-year-old was held hostage for hours before being shot multiple times. Police stormed into the house when her husband shot himself in the face. They found the woman's body in a bedroom.

"It's really sad, the situation," said Justin Campbell, who grew up with the McAfee's son.

Campbell was home for Mother's Day weekend. He was shocked to find so much action on the streets where he feels most safe. Still, the incident didn't totally surprise him.

"I know his wife was very scared and she had a reason to be scared because look what happened," he said.

Police say the McAfees were going through a divorce. It's not the first call for help they had received from Mrs. McAfee.

"There are previous reports of terroristic threats, which is a threat to life," said Sgt. Howard.

It's nerve-rattling for neighbors who never expected a neighbor's domestic disturbance to escalate to this.

"You almost want to wish for another hurricane or something like that so that it brings neighbors out of their yards and environments so that we get to know each other better and maybe support each other at times of stress," said neighbor Dr. Rena D'Souze.

Sources confirm McAfee made a phone call to an attorney friend Saturday night, during the hours he and his wife were barricaded inside their home. That conversation will be key in filling in blanks and determining exactly why this happened.


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