An ATF agent lifts crime scene tape outside the scene of two murders this morning, Aug. 8, 2013, in DeSoto, Texas. Four people were killed at two different locations in South Dallas County and the suspected shooter is in police custody.Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
DALLAS — A suspect in the fatal shootings of four people in two Dallas-area homes was in custody today as police tried to determine what prompted the attacks just minutes apart and whether an explosive was used.
Four people were also wounded in the attacks. The first shooting took place at a house in southwest Dallas late Wednesday and another was about 15 minutes later in DeSoto, some 10 miles away, Dallas police Sgt. Warren Mitchell said.
Investigators arrested Erbie Bowser Wednesday night at the second crime scene, but they have no information about Bowser's relationship with any of the victims, DeSoto police Cpt. Melissa Franks said.
Charges were pending, Franks said.
Police were called around 10:30 p.m. to a home in southwest Dallas where they found four gunshot victims, two of whom had died, Mitchell said. The suspect then fled to DeSoto, where he is suspected of killing two people. Two boys, aged 11 and 13, survived that attack, DeSoto said.
Police did not immediately release the identities of those killed and wounded in the attacks, and the conditions of the survivors were not known today.
A neighbor in DeSoto, Tommy Johnson, said he heard a loud boom Wednesday night coming from the direction of the home where the victims were later found.
"We thought it was coming from upstairs, because the kids are always upstairs making noise," Johnson said. "I went up and asked, 'Did y'all hear anything?' and one of my daughters said it came from outside. So I peeped out the front and that's when I saw a bunch of officers walking down the sidewalk and about 10 houses up."
Franks said she could not confirm that a grenade or other explosive device had been used in the DeSoto attack, pending the results of an ATF and Dallas bomb squad investigation.
Neighbors wearing nightclothes came out of their homes before dawn Thursday to watch as police investigated the DeSoto crime scene.