Magnolia murder suspect found dead after hours-long standoff in Cypress

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Friday, July 24, 2020
Neighbors' homes riddled with gunfire by man who took own life
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Dozens of neighbors' homes were riddled with gunfire moments before the shooter took his own life.

MAGNOLIA, Texas (KTRK) -- A Magnolia murder suspect is dead following a SWAT standoff with authorities in a neighborhood near Cypress.

In a tweet posted by the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, 27-year-old Christopher Julian was found with a self-inflicted wound.

Julian is accused of shooting and killing a longtime friend in Magnolia overnight. He was also accused of shooting at his girlfriend in Tomball.

Authorities surrounded a home belonging to Julian's father for the majority of Thursday afternoon. They confirmed his death shortly before 6 p.m.

Meanwhile, residents were forced to evacuate as the standoff was underway.

When authorities arrived at the home in the 15200 block of Vincennes Oak earlier, Lt. Scott Spencer said Julian shot at officers multiple times with a long gun.

"When detectives arrived and SWAT officers arrived at the address, they immediately began taking fire from inside the residence. Multiple rounds were fired towards officers and law enforcement officers. None of the officers were struck, and none of the officers fired rounds back at the residence."

People were being asked to avoid the scene and stay inside as a large law enforcement presence filled the area.

"We're not going to rush this," said Sr. Dep. Thomas Gilliland during a briefing with reporters when the standoff was still active. "Again, bear with us. I know it might be an inconvenience for a lot of homeowners around here, a lot of resonance, but public safety is our number one factor in bringing this man in safe."

Earlier on Thursday, Montgomery County Sheriff's deputies said Julian was believed to be armed and dangerous.

Samuel Schmidtt, 29, was found dead at his front door on Kinley Ann Court near Tory Ann Drive.

He was reportedly shot just after 11 p.m. Wednesday.

Deputies said Julian took off in a silver Nissan Versa with Texas license plate number MPT5747. Deputies said Julian and Schmidtt had known each other for over 10 years and went to high school together.

Witnesses at the scene said the two men engaged in conversation for over an hour before Julian went back to his car to retrieve a gun.

Julian fired at least six shots with what is believed to be a pistol, deputies said.

Deputies said Schmidtt's 13-year-old daughter and girlfriend were present at the time of the shooting. Julian is charged with murder with no bond, deputies said. He also has a separate warrant for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Harris County.

Deputies said Julian shot at his girlfriend and her car Wednesday morning as she was trying to drive away from him in Tomball.

According to his girlfriend, one of her friends came to pick her up at the Villages on Grant and as they were leaving, Julian started to chase them, investigators said.

She then called 911. They were near City Hall and the Tomball Police Department when authorities said Julian shot two to three times at his girlfriend and the car from his own vehicle. City employees said they heard the gunshots.

Fortunately, neither his girlfriend nor the driver of the vehicle were hit.

Tomball police tried looking for Julian until they called off the search at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. He was accused of shooting Schmidtt about eight hours later.