James Allen Rogers, 26, is facing a murder charge in the death of his mother, Reyna Rogers, 50.
Neighbors say it was an eerie sound -- gunshots mixed with loud screams.
"All of a sudden we heard gunshots -- boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, and then screaming," said neighbor Debbie Ellis.
Ellis and other neighbors ran outside. Minutes later, police showed up.
"Police drew their guns," Ellis recalled. "They were just looking around and they went to that patio and he said, 'Get the ambulance. We have somebody down.'"
Houston police say it was a mother who had been shot at least eight times by her son. A trauma nurse who also lives in the upscale townhome community on Las Palmas at W. Main went in to help police.
Ellis explained, "She was up against the blinds. Somebody had tried to drag her or she had crawled to that position. She had her cell phone trying to call somebody."
Neighbors say police worked to safely get her out of the house, but she was in agony.
"The mom was screaming," Ellis said. "She was still coherent and she was sitting up and the nurse said she could breathe."
Authorities say Rogers, who admitted to not only shooting his mother but also killing the family dog and cat, was still upstairs in the house. Police say he is ex-military and had a stack of other weapons in a closet, so authorities were extremely cautious.
"I saw they had guns drawn," said neighbor Tim Kelley. "The door was open. One had a dog."
"The next thing we know, we hear a dog barking and a man screaming," Ellis said. "The dog attacked the man who was hiding upstairs."
Another neighbor said, "They had him in handcuffs out here. He was very quiet."
Police are now trying to figure out what triggered such a violent domestic dispute, even speaking with Rogers' brother, who was able to run out of the house during the shooting. Meanwhile neighbors still can't believe it happened.
A neighbor said, "It seemed like one of those families that kind of stay to themselves. Nobody ever talked to them. Nobody ever knew what the family structure was, who lived there."
"It's a nightmare," Ellis said. "So you just never know."
Police are still searching for a motive in this murder.