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Ronald Lee HASKELL





Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Vengeance - Haskell was related to the victims by a former marriage
Number of victims: 6
Date of murders: July 9, 2014
Date of arrest: Same day (surrendered)
Date of birth: August 26, 1980
Victims profile: Stephen Robert Stay, 39; his wife, Katie Stay, 33; and four of their children: Bryan, 13; Emily, 9; Rebecca, 7; and Zachary, 4 (members of his ex-wife’s family)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Spring, Texas, USA
Status: Charged with six counts of capital murder. He was held without bond

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2014 Spring, Texas shooting

On July 9, 2014, a mass shooting occurred in a home located in the town of Spring, Texas, a suburb of Houston, leaving six family members dead, four of them children, and a lone survivor. The suspected shooter, later identified as 33-year-old Ronald Lee Haskell, was apprehended after a standoff that lasted several hours. Haskell was related to the victims by a former marriage.


Police and court documents state that Haskell arrived at 711 Leaflet Lane, dressed as a FedEx employee. Haskell was reportedly searching for his ex-wife, the sister of the mother living in the home. The door was answered by the mother's 15-year-old daughter, who initially didn't recognize him; he asked for her parents and she told him they weren't home. Haskell left, but returned a short time later and told the girl he was her ex-uncle. When she tried to close the door on him, Haskell forced his way inside, tied her up, and made her lie face-down; Haskell did the same to the other four children and their parents when they returned to the house. Haskell then reportedly shot all seven people in the back of the head "execution-style" when they wouldn't tell him where his ex-wife was.

Five of the victims died at the scene, while one child died shortly after arriving at a hospital. The lone survivor, the 15-year-old girl who initially answered the door, was able to identify the suspect, telling responding police that the gunman was planning on going after other family members. She survived being shot by raising her hand, deflecting the bullet enough to just graze her head, suffering only a skull fracture and an amputated finger, then "played dead".

Using the girl's information, police confronted the suspect at a second home; a chase ensued for twenty minutes, involving about two dozen patrol cars and eventually ending at a cul-de-sac located about three miles from the scene of the shooting, shortly before 7:00 p.m. The police managed to disable the suspect's car with a spike strip, corner him at the cul-de-sac, and block his car with two armored vehicles. The suspect held a pistol to his head and spoke to police via cellphone. Nearby homes were evacuated during the standoff. After around three hours passed, the suspect surrendered to police without incident.


The victims included 39-year-old Stephen Robert Stay; his wife, 33-year-old Katie Stay; and four of their children: Bryan, 13; Emily, 9; Rebecca, 7; and Zachary, 4. The sole survivor was 15-year-old Cassidy Stay, who was able to phone police and inform them that Haskell was planning to attack her grandparents next. She remained in critical condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital, but was released from the hospital on July 11 and is expected to survive. Cassidy Stay's survival of the shooting and her participation in Haskell's apprehension have earned her praise from the public. An online fundraiser campaign raised for her received more than 16,000 participants and over $394,000 in donations.


Ronald Lee Haskell, Jr. (born August 26, 1980) was identified by police as the sole suspect in the shooting. He was raised in Escondido, California, and also lived in Eagle River, a community in Anchorage, Alaska, until 2004. In Alaska, he attended Chugiak High School, graduating in 1999. He had been voted as the class clown and king for both prom and homecoming. He worked as a parcel delivery driver for an independent service that had a contract with FedEx, but he stopped working for the company since January, according to a spokesperson.

He married Melannie Kaye Lyon on March 15, 2002, in Orange County, California. He moved to Logan, Utah, where he lived from July 2006 to November 2013, mostly with his then-wife. Melannie Lyon later divorced him on February 14, 2014, and moved to Houston with the help of her sister, Katie Stay, who was one of the victims.

Haskell had previously faced domestic assault charges and had a protective order put against him by his wife before they divorced. In June 2008, Haskell was charged with suspicion of domestic violence, simple assault, and committing an act of violence in front of children, after reportedly dragging his wife out of bed by the hair and hitting her on the side of her head. Haskell said he had only pushed his wife. He later pleaded guilty to the simple assault charge, and not guilty to the domestic violence charge; the charges were later dismissed after a plea deal was reached.

On July 8, 2013, a protective order was filed by Melannie Lyon and served the following day. Melannie Lyon filed for divorce in August. The protective order was later dismissed in October 2013 when the Haskells agreed to a mutual restraining order in the divorce and custody arrangements involving their four children, with Melannie Lyon gaining primary custody. He had been living with his parents in San Marcos, California, since the divorce; police later stated that Haskell was found holding a California driver's license.

On July 2, 2014, over a week prior to the shooting, Haskell's mother, Karla Jeanne Haskell, told San Marcos police that she wanted a restraining order against her son after having "a ferocious argument" with him, during which he reportedly forced her into the garage, tied her wrists with duct tape, taped her to a computer chair for almost four hours, and threatened to kill her and his entire family. The incident was allegedly sparked when Karla Haskell told him that she was in contact with his ex-wife. Deputies investigating the incident searched for Haskell at known hangouts, but were unable to find him. They would later learn that Haskell had been arrested in Texas for the shooting.

Legal proceedings

On the morning of July 10, 2014, Haskell was charged with six counts of capital murder, according to the Harris County Sheriff's Office. He was held without bond, and made his first court appearance on July 11. In court, as the charges against him were read, he began shaking and later collapsed for reasons that are still unclear. When deputies lifted him to his feet, Haskell stood for a minute, then collapsed again. As a result, he had to be carried out of the courtroom in a wheelchair.

Normal guy with a monster within

Those who knew Ron Haskell as a teen in Alaska had no idea he might end up at the center of a family tragedy in Texas

By Mike Tolson and Mark Collette -

July 12, 2014

To those who knew him in a casual way, Ron Haskell was a normal guy, reasonably amiable and apparently carefree, a father and husband living an unremarkable life.

The monster inside was known to those who mattered most, especially his wife Melannie, who endured years of abuse and hoped against hope that things might change. Ultimately they did, though only for the worse, culminating last week in the massacre of her sister's family.

Over the past year Haskell's life had been on a sinking trajectory. The family's new home that he had literally helped to build in Smithfield, Utah, just outside of Logan, would not include him. That became clear when Melannie, fed up, finally filed for divorce in October. With the facade of a happy Mormon family shattered, the depression that some say had dogged his life for years increased.

Then Melannie decided to leave Utah altogether, looking to a new life in Houston, where her sister and parents lived. Her four children would be surrounded by five happy cousins and people who did not constantly quarrel and fight. Haskell, too, found little reason to remain in Utah. Unemployed and facing a $773 monthly payment for child support, he moved to California, where parents and siblings lived.

But in his case it was no happy reunion. Depression and anger grew. There were reports from family members that he would go days without eating or leaving his room in his mother's home. And the violence he had repeatedly shown toward Melannie flared up in November when he reportedly assaulted his sister and mother. Chandra Haskell sought a restraining order to get her brother out of the home.

"I am afraid that if Ronald remains … he will harm me again," she wrote in her application for the order, which later was dismissed when she did not follow through.

'Can't plan for crazy'

About 10 days ago, Haskell argued again with his mother, who had offended him by speaking to his ex-wife. He duct-taped his mom's wrists and taped her arm to a chair, screaming at her and choking her until she passed out. He left the house several hours later, but authorities were not called until her daughter arrived.

Sheriff's deputies in San Diego County looked for Haskell around the California town of San Marcos, where the family lives. They were still trying to find him days later when they got word that he was in custody in Texas, where his anger had reached the boiling point in a murderous rampage Wednesday afternoon.

The victims were Melannie's sister and brother-in-law, Katie and Stephen Stay, and four of their five children. The body count could have been higher had not the Stays' oldest daughter, 15-year-old Cassidy Stay, survived and called authorities to report that her ex-uncle was on his way to her grandparents' house.

How Haskell's mental state reached the point of gunplay, which had never been mentioned in previous abuse reports to police, may be known only to a few who are close to him, if at all. Melannie's divorce lawyer, A. Daniel Barker, was sickened when he learned of the family slaughter. He wonders if he should have seen some indication, even a hint, that Haskell's instability was reaching a new level, and he combed his memory of their times together in court and of his conversations with Melannie. He came up with little.

"Ron came across with a good demeanor," Barker said. "He spoke well and didn't raise his voice. He had that personality where you wouldn't expect something like this to happen. But you also had a feeling there might be something behind that exterior. There was something going on inside him."

Only because his client had given him a full accounting of her marital strife was Barker aware of Haskell's potential for violence. When Melannie decided to relocate to Houston and Ron then headed to Southern California, Barker breathed a little easier. Surely that was enough distance between them, he thought.

"I was more fearful for her safety than with any other client I've had," the lawyer said. "Had she still lived in (Utah) I would have been more concerned. But he was moving to California, where he would have the support of his family. She was moving to Texas. The problem was that this was someone who was intent on something. You can't plan for crazy."

The trip from California to Texas was not nearly as far as the psychological journey Haskell had taken through his adult years. To those who knew him as a teenager in Alaska, there was nothing to suggest what he would become. He was a good kid from a righteous family, who were respected for their devotion to the gospel and to the church.

At Chugiak High School, Haskell established himself as a class clown, a bit of a goofball and a flirt who carried his stocky build in a comical way, recalled former classmate Carolee Beckham, whose family lived close to the Haskells in the Mormon community of Eagle River, just outside of Anchorage.

"He made everyone feel like it was OK to be who you were," Beckham said.

Another classmate, Drew Nevitt, remembered mostly Haskell's ever-present humor. In an interview with the Alaska Dispatch News, Nevitt said Haskell was always cracking jokes, and called him "the Chris Farley of Eagle River," even if the physical bulk that might prompt such comparisons was still years off.

The Times Dispatch article refers to a quote from Haskell in the high school yearbook: "Why did they pick me to be class clown? I think it's because I'm so darn good looking." In his senior photograph, he wears a simple white T-shirt and large wire-rimmed glasses, with his hair cut well above the ears and parted down the middle.

Haskell was liked and thought of as neither a bully nor a loner. Beckham called him the sort of person who would invite the girl no one else would invite to the big dance. He was named homecoming king in the class of about 400 and was a lineman on the football team. Beckham lost track of him after he graduated in 1999, three years before he married Melannie, but she remembers only the good - his service in Boy Scouts and in the Mormon church.

"Knowing his family was a positive thing for everyone in our community growing up," she said. "His brothers were nice, funny. His parents were just good people. I can't even imagine what they're feeling … Knowing him back then, he was the very last person I think anyone would have expected this of."

It's not clear when Haskell left Alaska. State records track him applying for a permanent fund dividend given to the state's full-time residents through 2004. He also maintained hunting and fishing licenses from the same period. But by that time he had a wife and growing family in Logan, about 80 miles north of Salt Lake City.

Anger turns to abuse

Outward appearances suggested nothing was amiss, even if Melannie knew better. She stayed home with their young children while he worked at a cheese factory and for a courier service, among other jobs. He enjoyed the outdoors and camping, was typically cordial and mostly kept to himself, said Steven Kippen, bishop of the Yorkshire Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Logan.

"He was apparently a different person at home," Kippen said. "But not always. And it's still crazy to see something of this magnitude come out of it."

The domestic abuse Melannie endured finally became a matter of public record when she called police in June of 2008. She told officers that Ron had repeatedly struck her and had grabbed her by the hair while throwing her from their bedroom. The case was resolved with a plea deal that required him to avoid any additional criminal charges for a period of time.

But the abuse eventually resumed. Kippen counseled Melannie about the domestic turmoil, but declined to give details out of concern for the family's privacy. Kippen said he had a clear impression that Ron struggled with deep depression and anger.

Even as the abuse escalated, the couple set about building a home in Smithfield. It was during construction that Melannie began to confide to a future neighbor, Jolyn Young, who was building her own home nearby. Young told the Logan Herald Journal that Melannie believed the abuse would subside in time. The revelation shocked Young, who would not have imagined the man she met could be so different in the privacy of his home.

Young said she thought of Ron as a "dorky, humorous, carefree man" - descriptions that echo his old high school friends - and that she never saw anything that made her suspect there were problems between him and his wife.

"I didn't realize how unstable he was," Young said. "He really had us fooled."

Melannie reached her breaking point last year after seeing one of their children exhibiting behavior similar to her husband's, Young said. Melannie told her that she had left her husband and filed for divorce. She even joked that she was eager to buy new pots and pans for her home because the old set reminded her of the times her husband had struck her with them.

The marriage disintegrated just as the couple were finishing construction on their home. The Haskells surprised their friends by announcing a split just before Thanksgiving 2013.

Melannie got a restraining order against Ron and similar language was placed in the divorce decree, which also required that he undergo a psychological evaluation and demonstrate that he was emotionally and mentally stable enough for unsupervised visits with his children.

As for the new home, it would go to a different family. Melannie would be moving permanently to Texas, staying first with the Stays, who came from Houston to fetch her. Ron would head home to his family in Southern California to rebuild his life and pull himself together.

"We thought he was making pretty good progress," Kippen said. "He was meeting with professionals. I was under the impression that he was on medication."

Sliver of good news

The Haskells' divorce became final on Valentine's Day. If there was any progress over the next few months, it was small and temporary. By July, Ron was as angry as ever. If he was making plans for the future, they were short-term and ultimately horrifying.

By week's end, his life had intersected his former wife's one final time, a final blow and the most brutal yet. While she prepared to bury her sister, brother-in-law and the four children, he was standing dazed and seemingly faint in a downtown courtroom for formal arraignment.

She faces a new and unanticipated challenge in rebuilding her life, with the only sliver of good news being the survival of one of her nieces.

Haskell's future, by contrast, may at last have something close to certainty in it: He is charged with capital murder and will certainly face the possibility of a death sentence in a Texas county that has sent more people to death row than anywhere else in America. His attorney already indicated that he will focus on Haskell's mental state, the hope being that the intensity of his rage might make him somehow less legally culpable.

The jury will be left to survey the carnage that took place on Leaflet Lane, where seven people were shot one by one, methodically and with their hands bound.

Was Texas Shooting Suspect Ronald Haskell Seeking Vengeance?

By Erik Ortiz -

July 12, 2014

Rage and despair defined Ronald Lee Haskell’s life in recent years, boiling over during fights with his wife and even after their messy breakup. But did his inner demons — and a possible taste for vengeance — drive him to murder six members of his ex-wife’s family?

Investigators in Harris County, Texas, haven’t said what triggered the shocking slayings Wednesday of parents Stephen and Katie Stay and four of their young children, although they believe they were caught in a domestic dispute between Haskell and his ex-wife. One of the Stay children, 15-year-old Cassidy, survived the attack and called 911.

Haskell now faces capital murder charges, and appeared for the first time in court Friday shaking and then collapsing before bailiffs had to usher him out in a wheelchair.

“Obviously the evidence is very compelling that he was responsible for the deaths of these children and his ex-wife's sister and her husband,” Haskell’s court-appointed attorney, Doug Durham, later said. “It’s a terrible tragedy. The question is: Is he legally responsible from a criminal standpoint?”

Defense lawyers are trying to determine the state of Haskell’s mental health as police continue to sift through the evidence and pinpoint what led to the twisted turn of events.

What happened in the home?

Haskell, 33, was disguised as a FedEx delivery worker when he went to the suburban Houston home of his ex-wife’s sister, Katie Stay, on Wednesday afternoon, police said. Oldest child Cassidy was home alone and answered the door. She told Haskell her parents weren’t home. He later returned, forcing his way in and tying Cassidy up, police said.

Minutes later, her parents and her four siblings, ages 4 to 13, returned. Haskell allegedly tied them up as well, and demanded to know the whereabouts of his ex-wife, Melannie Lyon. They said they didn’t know, and they were each shot in the back of the head. The bullet for Cassidy only grazed her, and she played dead until the gunman fled, she told police.

The critically wounded teenager was able to identify him to police as her ex-uncle, and said he was planning to drive to her grandparents’ home and kill them. Police, however, tracked him down and he was arrested after a 20-minute police chase and a three-hour standoff. Around 10 p.m., Haskell got out of his car, fell to his knees and surrendered.

Where is Haskell’s ex-wife and did her family know Haskell was pursuing them?

Melannie Lyon’s sister, Katie Stay, was the one who convinced her to leave Cache County, Utah, where she was living with Haskell and their four children, and move to Spring, Texas, relatives told NBC News. Around that time, Lyon had filed a protective order against Haskell and was planning to file for divorce after more than a decade of marriage.

Lyon ended up living with her parents in Spring. It’s unclear, however, where she and her children were at the time of the shootings. She has not appeared publicly or commented since the incident.

It doesn't appear that her family knew Haskell was headed for Texas. When he arrived at the Stay home, Cassidy didn't even recognize her ex-uncle right away, police said.

Did Haskell have run-ins with law enforcement before?

Several times in different capacities. One of his earliest arrests was in 2008 on suspicion of domestic violence, simple assault and committing an act of violence in front of children. Melannie Lyon told police her husband dragged her out of their bedroom by her hair and hit her in the side of the head.

Haskell said he had only pushed his wife, and that he was stressed from his job. Two of the couple’s children were ages 3 and 5 at the time. Haskell pleaded guilty to an assault charge in the case.

In 2009, Haskell flagged down a police officer saying that his wife had left the family and he believed she was going to harm herself. He called back and said he found his wife and was taking her to the hospital, records show.

Last October, a protective order filed by Lyon was dismissed when the couple agreed to a mutual restraining order and custody arrangements for their children. The judge said Ron Lee Haskell’s visits would have to be supervised by a psychologist.

Haskell had been living with his parents in San Marcos, California, before he traveled to Texas this week. He and his parents have a history of domestic disturbances, police records show.

As recently as July 2, Haskell allegedly choked his mother and threatened to kill her. Court documents say Haskell was upset that she was talking to his ex-wife. Karla Haskell reported to police her son “told me he was going to kill me, my family and any officer who stops him.” She filed a domestic violence protective order, and San Diego County Sheriff's Department detectives looked for Haskell for several days but never found him, the department said this week.

Did Haskell have a history with guns?

Karla Haskell told police that her son stole her husband’s guns during a previous domestic violence incident. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department confiscated those firearms.

Did he show signs of instability?

Despite all of the run-ins with police, he never received proper mental health treatment, his lawyer said. There was a time last year when Haskell was going through his divorce and his brother became worried. He asked authorities to perform a welfare check. But the brother spoke with Haskell and called back police asking them not to investigate, according to court documents.

Earlier in his life, Haskell appeared to have an ordinary upbringing. He went to high school in Alaska, played on the football team and was even voted prom king and class clown his senior year, according to The Alaska Dispatch.

He was quoted in his yearbook: “Why did they pick me to be class clown? I think it’s because I'm so darn good looking.”

Will prosecutors seek the death penalty?

It hasn’t been ruled out. Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson will decide soon what punishment he will pursue, prosecutors said Friday. Meanwhile, Haskell’s defense attorney said they would review whether he would plead not guilty by reason of insanity. He continues to be held without bond.

“The focus of my defense with Mr. Haskell is his mental condition. Our laws say a person suffering from mental illness is not criminally responsible,” said Durham, his attorney.

NBC News’ Andrew Blankstein contributed to this report.

EXCLUSIVE: Grieving ex-wife of Houston 'shooter' blames her divorce for his slaughter, claims lawyer who helped her split from violent husband turned 'killer'

  • Police in Houston, Texas, arrested 33-year-old Haskell Wednesday night after a tense stand-off at a suburban cul-de-sac

  • He is charged with shooting dead six members of the same family

  • Haskell and his wife Melanie Kaye Haskell were married in 2002 in California

  • Melanie feels she's 'paid the ultimate price for freedom', her divorce lawyer Al Barker told MailOnline, adding: 'But I felt terrible because it is not her fault'

  • Lone survior, Cassidy Stay, 15, was released from hospital today

  • A bullet grazed her head and she played dead until Haskell left

ByRyan Parry In Houston, Texas -

July 11, 2014

The ex-wife of suspected killer Ron Lee Haskell – who fled her abusive and violent husband after 11 years of marriage - believes she has paid the ‘ultimate price for freedom’, her former divorce lawyer told MailOnline.

Al Barker, the lawyer who represented Melanie Lyon in her divorce from Haskell, revealed she made the heart-breaking statement to family members after discovering her ex had slaughtered six of her relatives in cold blood.

Melanie's sister Katie Stay, brother-in-law Stephen and four of their young children were gunned down at their Texas home on Wednesday.

Mr Barker, who works for Utah Legal Services, revealed that Melanie is still in ‘shock’ over the massacre as she tried to come to terms with the reasons behind it.

Mr Barker tried to reach out to Melanie on Thursday but instead spoke to her mother Kelly Lyon.

‘It was a really brief conversation, I was trying to call Melanie to express my condolences, but her mom answered,’ said Mr Barker.

‘I asked her how Melanie was doing and she told me that Melanie was in shock over what happened.’

But for Mr Barker – who grew to know Melanie well during the seven month divorce – what she said next was hard to take.

He said: ‘Melanie’s mother told me something that her daughter had said after the incident.

‘She said that she had to pay the ultimate price for freedom.

‘That sounds like something Melanie would have said, knowing her, it’s something that would have come out of her mouth.

‘But I felt terrible because it is not her fault'.

oday new details of the bitter split between Melanie and husband Haskell have emerged.

Neighbors at their old family home in Logan, Utah say the couple had been building a house in nearby Smithfield, but Melanie tried to escape her abusive marriage before it was completed.

Haskell pleaded guilty to simple assault in a domestic violence-related incident in 2008, according to Utah state court records.

‘Melanie Haskell stated her husband Ronald had (dragged) her by her hair and struck her in the head, and then did it again in front of the children," according to Logan police.

The abuse allegedly continued after that court case ended.

'She was tired of him beating her up and her children witnessing it. And when she saw her oldest child start to become violent, she chose to move into a (Community Abuse Prevention Service Agency) home for their safety,' neighbor Jolyn Young told local Utah paper the Deseret News.

'I was heartbroken, just sick and devastated,' she said.

While in the process of building their homes, Young said Melanie confided in her that she had left her husband.

According to Deseret News she and her children had reportedly gone to live in a secure location for their safety, following years of abuse.

Like many victims of abuse, Melanie told Young that she always thought things would improve, but when she saw one of her children exhibit violent behavior similar to her husband, that was her breaking point.

Shockingly, Young said Melanie wanted to buy new pots and pans for her home — because the set she had reminded her of the times Haskell allegedly struck her with them.

Mr Barker says he’s now anxious to reach out to Melanie to offer her words of support.

‘She needs space right now but I don’t want her to feel like this is her own fault, she did everything right. She was going through a difficult relationship, she knew it was harmful for her and her family.

‘She did all the right things to get out. I just hope that other victims don’t look at her case and think, “this could happen to me”.

‘Most of the time in a domestic violence situation the victim ends up dying a slow emotional death, being fearful, being manipulated and being controlled and doing everything you can do get out of that relationship is best for the individual so they can make a better life for themselves and their children.

‘Melanie did all the right things, this is just a terrible tragedy.'

Mr Barker said he only saw Haskell on a few occasions during the divorce, but each time he was ‘silent, and he was calm and he was collected’.

But the attorney doesn't believe that was the case behind closed doors.

‘We had some serious concerns about his stability,’ Mr Barker said. ‘I think Melanie knew she needed to get out of this relationship.’

Mr Barker said he spoke to Melanie not long after she left Utah to be close to family in Texas earlier this year and said she appeared to have moved on with her life.

‘We never expected something like this to happen,’ he added.

According to the Associated Press, murder victim Katie Stay traveled to Utah last fall to help her sister Melanie get away from the abusive marriage.

Melanie never moved into her new home.

The couple’s divorce was finalized on February 14 and part of their divorce decree required Haskell to obtain a psychological evaluation and provide documentation that he is emotionally and mentally stable enough to care for his children without supervision.

A judge granted joint custody of the couple’s four kids, with Haskell’s wife getting primary custody.

The Haskells were married in California in 2002. They separated in June of 2013.

In August of 2013, Melanie reported a protective order violation to police.

In October of 2013, Melanie reported another possible protective order violation because Haskell had shown up at one of the children’s elementary schools.

This protective order was actually served on him the day of the complaint. 'Neither protective order violations were prosecuted,' police said in a statement.

Today support for the devastated Stay family is still growing and a fund set up to raise money for them has reached almost $150,000 with a new goal of $200,000.

Former Navy officer Jody Dellinger, a District Manager at Harris County Parks and Recreation, set up the fund with first responder Sergeant George Beck, the officer who found the massacre scene in Spring, Texas.

Jody wrote on the site this morning: ‘We just broke $106,000 this morning at 0840, only about 20 hours after the site was created.

This incredible outpouring has already brought this ole, rough, retired Navy Chief to tears! I cannot express how proud and excited I am to be a part of such an awesome show of love that this site has become!’

Meanwhile, the lone teenage survivor of the cold-blooded attack was released from hospital today, according to Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital.

In to a statement the hospital said the 15-year-old was discharged earlier this afternoon in good condition and is expected to make a full recovery.

'As a hospital team, we were honored to be able to help care for this brave young woman at her critical time of need. The entire staff at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital has been profoundly touched by Cassidy's resilient spirit, inner strength, and hopeful heart during this time of indescribable shock and grief,' the hospital said.

'We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to her, and her extended family, as they begin the difficult healing process.'

Cassidy had been hailed a hero after playing dead when Ron Haskell allegedly shot her in the head before executing we whole family.

She escaped with her life and called the police shortly after Haskell left the home in Spring, Texas.

Her mother, father and four siblings all lay dead next to her.

Cassidy was able to warn police that the shooter had left to find her grandparents and shoot them too.

Her grandparents have said they are in 'awe' of her bravery.

Cassidy was always expected to make a full physical recovery after it emerged that amazingly the bullet only grazed her head.

But she reportedly also lost a finger in the attack.



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