Harris County Sheriff issues statement on family mass murder

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- On the same day a funeral remembered and honored the six children and two adults killed in a terrifying massacre, Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman released a public statement.

PHOTOS: Scene where 6 children and 2 adults were found dead

    "Our department grieves, along with the citizens of our community, the senseless loss of life on August the 8th at the home located on Falling Oaks Road in North Harris County. Such acts committed against any individual, and especially those against children, pierce the heart with sorrow. We pray for those that were taken that night, and for the family members and friends that are left to pick up the shattered pieces.

    "As is standard in any type of significant event, we are taking steps to review, discuss and evaluate with our staff, our deputies and all those who played a role in responding to, and managing this event. We are dedicated to searching for adjustments or changes that may be able to prevent future incidents of this nature.

    "As law enforcement officers we are bound by state and federal law to balance the fourth amendment right to freedom from unlawful search, and our sworn duty to protect the lives of our citizens. We feel our deputies acted with valor and courage on that day, and acted in earnest compliance with the law. As in any tragic incident there is always room for reflection, evaluation and improvement. To that end, we are conducting a review of the entire episode to ensure if there are changes necessary, or lessons to be learned that we are diligent in finding them. Again, our hearts go out to the family and friends who have lost so many loves ones in this tragic incident."
    -Sheriff Ron Hickman, Harris County

Valerie Jackson's family says they told the Harris County Sheriff's Office that David Conley was at the house with a gun. And they tell Eyewitness News their local police department in Minnesota also told the sheriff's office that he was there with a gun. They say someone dropped the ball and it may have cost their eight loved ones their lives.

Deputies did a number of welfare checks. On the final one, they spotted a child's body through a window.

The family believes somebody could have been saved had deputies gone in sooner.

Jackson's family says they plan to pursue civil action against the sheriff's office, as well as an internal affairs investigation. A sheriff's office spokesman says they're not allowed to comment because of a gag order from the judge handling this case.
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