Grandparents of family killed in Houston area: 'You have to forgive'

HOUSTON (WFAA) – The California grandparents of the family shot and killed in their Spring home are heading to Houston.

Their response less than 48 hours after the tragedy was nothing short of remarkable.

"I told [our surviving granddaughter] how sorry I was of everything that happened, but we were so grateful she's still here with us," said Joyce Stay, the mother of Stephen Stay, who was killed along with his wife and and four of their children. "And she said, 'My mom and dad are in a better place now.' You have to forgive, and that's a process. We can do that even though six of our children have been taken from us."

It was Wednesday night when the parents of Stephen Stay received the phone call that their son, his wife Katie, and the couple's four children had been shot and killed in their home – allegedly by Ronald Haskell, Katie's ex-brother-in-law.

Tom and Joyce Stay, however, are working to forgive Haskell, who deputies said dressed up as a FedEx delivery man and led police on a chase ending in his arrest later the same night.

The Stays said they are relying on their faith to get them through the tragedy as they head to be with their 15-year-old granddaughter who is the sole survivor of the mass shooting.

Deputies said it wasn't just by chance they stopped Haskell where they did. It was the surviving granddaughter who pointed them to where Haskell was going to possibly carry out another attack at the home of of his ex-wife's brother's.

"He came looking for his family, I'm sure," explained neighbor Andrea Alleweireldt, who attended church with the victims. "It should have never happened. He made threats I've heard. I wish there was a way to apprehend him before he acted on the threats."

Haskell was boxed in by a SWAT team for hours before finally giving up. During most of the standoff, Haskell is described as "just sitting in his car."

Haskell appeared in court Friday morning where he briefly fainted and was carried out in a chair.

Prosecutors said Haskell passed out because he is facing the reality of his actions, while his court-appointed attorney said the defendant is not mentally sound.

A Go Fund Me page was created for the survivor.



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