Suspect in custody after 5 people are killed in shooting in small Texas town

KCEN

A mother, her two children and two neighbors were gunned down in a small Texas town on Thursday before responding police shot and arrested the suspect, officials said.

The suspect, 35-year-old Nicolas Hernandez-Jaimes, has been charged with felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon with more charges pending, state Public Safety Department Sgt. Ryan Howard said in a statement on Friday.

The gunfire erupted in McGregor, just southwest of Waco.

Howard identified the victims as: Monica Delgado, 38, Miguel Avila, 15, Natallie Avila, 14, Lorena Aviles, 47, and Natalie Aviles, 20.

Delgado was the mother of the two young victims, who were students at McGregor High School, schools Superintendent James Lenamon said in statement on Friday.

Natalie Aviles was a 2020 graduate of McGregor High School, according to Lenamon, who called the shooting a "horrific tragedy" that "occurred in a domestic incident."

"McGregor is a quiet, beautiful town and something like this just doesn't happen," said state Rep. Charles “Doc” Anderson.

The suspect was the mother’s partner, said Anderson, who also described the bloodshed as a domestic violence incident.

The neighbors were killed when they went to the home after they heard gunfire, the lawmaker added.

The incident ended with an officer firing a weapon, Sgt. Howard told reporters on Thursday.

Police initially responded to a report of gunshots in the residential area at 7:35 a.m., McGregor Mayor Jimmy Hering said.

"This terrible and senseless act of violence has devastated our town," Hering said, asking for thoughts and prayers for families, officers and the community.

Local police officials asked the Texas Rangers to handle the criminal inquiry and to investigate the police shooting, he said.

The nearby Troy Independent School District announced Thursday that its middle school, freshman and junior varsity football games against McGregor had been "canceled tonight due to the tragic shooting in the McGregor community."

McGregor, a town of about 5,500 residents about halfway between Austin and Dallas, is home to a 4,300-acre SpaceX facility, where the Elon Musk-owned company tests rocket engines.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com