Kaufman County community in fear after DA and wife found dead - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Happening Now: FBI searching home of former Kaufman Co. Justice of the Peace

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Kaufman County DA Mike McLelland Kaufman County DA Mike McLelland
Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes holds press conference Sunday Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes holds press conference Sunday

KAUFMAN COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) - CBS 11 has confirmed the FBI evidence response team is searching the home of former Kaufman County Justice of the Peace Eric Williams in connection with the Kaufman County murders.

Authorities previously questioned Williams and tested him for gunpowder following the murder of Kaufman County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse in January and again after the murders of Kaufman County District Attorney Mark McLelland and his wife, Cynthia.

CBS 11 sources also say investigators are searching a second location and the home of Williams' in-laws, who live down the street.



KAUFMAN (KYTX) - Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are posted throughout Kaufman County after District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were found shot to death in their Forney home Saturday night.

The entire Kaufman County area is in such a nervous state.

"I was very, very scared," said McLelland's neighbor Vanessa Hernandez.

She and other neighbors stood in the dark Saturday night surrounded by caution tape, emergency vehicles, and chaos.

Kaufman county sheriff David Byrnes confirmed Sunday that Mike McLelland and his wife were shot to death in their Shamrock Ridge Edition home.

"This is an active investigation," the sheriff said.

A sheriff's deputy kept watch over McLelland's neighborhood Sunday, where most people stayed shut-up in their homes. Many told CBS 19 they were too scared to talk about what happened.

Those who did talk on camera say they're still in shock.

"It's really hard to imagine something like this happening in your neighborhood and we've lived here for years and we've never had anything like this happen before and for it to happen so close to home, it's very, very scary," said Vanessa Hernandez.

The shooting death of the District Attorney feels like de ja vu for the Kaufman community. just two months ago, the Assistant District Attorney, Mark Hasse was gunned down in a parking lot, a block away from the courthouse.

Though Sheriff Byrnes would not say whether the two shootings could be related, Kaufman City Mayor William Fortner told CNN's morning show he thinks they are.

"It has to be targeted that's the logical conclusion and I don't have any information that directs me to think that's the case but that's what you would assume under the circumstances since they targeted two people from our prosecutors," Mayor Fortner said. 

Sheriff Byrnes says he is not ruling out the possibility that whoever did this could be targeting others.

"It's unnerving to the law enforcement community. It's unnerving to the community at large and that's why we're striving to assure the community that we still are providing public safety and will be able to do that. We're meeting all of our obligations, plus the investigative responsibility," Byrnes said.

He promises community members they will be able to visibly see increased security at the courthouse Monday.

Until then, flags at the courthouse remain at half staff, above flowers placed on the steps in McLelland's memory.

McLelland was an army veteran. He and his wife leave behind two daughters and three sons. One son is a Dallas police officer.

Sheriff Byrnes would not say if there are any leads to suspects in the case.

If you have any information that could help this investigation, you can make an anonymous call to the tip-line at 1 (877) 847-7522. 

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