Son charged in stabbing at River Oaks area home

December 9, 2010 3:20:08 PM PST
A River Oaks area home was the scene of a murder Wednesday. Police say a woman was fatally stabbed at the hands of her own son.

Neighbors say they heard screams from the home Wednesday afternoon. When they got to the home on Overbrook, they say it was too late to save her.

John Shank, 20, is being held at the Harris County Jail. He is charged with murder. Investigators say it was a family issue that ended with the killing of his mother.

"They did find a white female who had been fatally wounded," Houston Police Department Det. Ramon Cervantes said.

Just after noon, Houston police were called to the home. After neighbors heard screams, they kicked in the door to get inside. Police say Nancy Shank, 52, had been stabbed in the neck after a disagreement with her son turned physical. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

After leaving the home, John was arrested within an hour on the Katy Freeway.

"The father has been very cooperative; he talked with the son and convinced him to pull over and wait for officers to come to him," Houston Police Department Det. John Roberts said.

Public records show the Royden Oaks home belongs to Daniel and Nancy Shank.

Patrol officers had been called to the home before. Neighbors say there was an incident involving the son a few days ago when he crawled out onto the roof.

"He threatened to jump and the fire department, and everyone was here but he didn't jump," neighbor Howard Smith said.

Detectives say the son has a history of mental illness and had been hospitalized for treatment this year; he had just talked with a psychiatrist Wednesday morning, but the family never had any fears it would end in a scene like this.

Most neighbors were reluctant to say anything at all, the grief of losing a neighbor having been compounded by the involvement of her family member. Friends say Shank had attended the elite Kinkaid School, then briefly at UT in Austin but he dropped out.

Shank is scheduled to appear in court Thursday. His bond is set at $500,000.


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