HOUSTON (Reuters) - A gunman shot six people to death, four of them children, in a Houston suburb on Wednesday, then surrendered to police after a lengthy standoff in a mass slaying that authorities say was sparked by a domestic dispute, a constable said.
The victims ranged from 4 to 40 years of age, and preliminary information indicated two of the dead were children adopted by the gunman and his estranged wife, Harris County Constable Ron Hickman told reporters after the suspect's arrest.
Hickman added that the violence stemmed from "obviously a domestic situation that went south, probably a divorce or separation."
A 15-year-old girl who also was shot but survived provided police with the name of the suspect and where he was believed to be going after he fled the scene, enabling officers to head him off before he arrived at the home of another family where he intended to shoot more relatives, police said.
The gunman then led police on a nearly half-hour pursuit capped by a standoff in a residential cul-de-sac a few miles from the scene of the slayings.
Streaming video footage from local television station KTRK showed the suspect's car sandwiched between two trucks where the chase ended, with more than a dozen police vehicles nearby.
After a four-hour interlude in which the suspect was seen placing a gun to his head, he walked out of the vehicle with his hands raised, then laid down on the ground to be taken into custody.
Five of the victims were found dead on the scene, the Harris County Sheriff's Office said. Two others were flown by helicopter to an area hospital, but one, a child, later died while the other was listed in critical condition, the sheriff's office said.
The names of the suspect and the victims were not immediately released.
(Reporting and writing by Jon Herskovitz from Austin, Texas; Editing by Eric Walsh, Peter Cooney and Ken Wills)