Gunman kills self, 5 others in Texas
Updated: 2011-07-24 14:49
A man attending a birthday party at a roller rink opened fire Saturday night after an apparent spat between family members, killing five people and wounding at least three others before fatally shooting himself, authorities said.
The shootings happened around 7 p.m. at Forum Roller World in Grand Prairie when police said the man drew a pistol during a fight between a husband and wife.
The names and ages of the victims weren't immediately released, but police spokesman John Brimmer said no young children or employees of the roller rink were among them, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
The relation of the gunman to the other people who died wasn't immediately clear.
"It was an argument. The shooter had gotten into here at a private birthday party," Brimmer said. "It escalated to the point where he pulled a gun and started shooting."
The injured survivors were taken to hospitals, and their conditions weren't immediately disclosed.
Grief counselors were available for witnesses, victims and family members, Police Chief Steve Dye said.
Derrian Harris, 18, of Grand Prairie said he rushed to the rink Saturday night after hearing about the shootings. He said he usually goes there every Friday night and was worried about whether any of his friends were hurt.
He said he has never seen so much as a fight at the rink. "All kinds of people come here to skate, and everybody gets along," Harris said.
Aaron Feldt of Grand Prairie told the Dallas Morning News he was across the street when he saw some of the victims run across the parking lot of the roller rink.
"I saw family coming across the street looking panicked," Feldt said. "They had children along with some adults. You could tell there was a sense of urgency and panic in their eyes.
Great Southwest Parkway, a major street in front of the rink, was partially blocked off after the incident, and around a dozen police vehicles were parked nearby, with a mobile command station in front of the building.
As of 9:30 p.m., bodies were still inside the building, the Morning News reported. Byron Raspberry of Grand Prairie said his children go to the rink frequently because it is near their home. "It doesn't make any sense," Raspberry said. "I don't feel safe at all."
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