HOUSTON – A man facing eviction from a luxury apartment complex shot and killed the manager and then himself after writing an e-mail to friends saying he had died, police said. At least two other people were injured.
Police said the gunman first shot a neighbor through his door, then reloaded his revolver and stormed the complex's office, shooting the manager and pistol-whipping a man trying to serve the eviction notice, police said.
Frantic residents called the office to warn workers that a gunman was on his way to them. The manager, identified by her employer as Laura Schoellmann, warned co-workers to get out, and police credited her with saving lives before she was killed.
"I don't know if she had time to get out," said police Capt. Dwayne Ready.
Ready said the gunman, identified as David Howard Thurm, 48, sent a long e-mail to friends before the shootings, which read: "I'm very sorry to inform you that David Howard Thurm passed away (died) on 4/23/07. This is not a joke."
Thurm went to the apartment of the neighbor, who apparently had filed several noise complaints against Thurm, said police, who did not know the reason for Thurm's eviction.
Thurm banged on the neighbor's door and when he didn't get a response, fired four shots through it, striking the 44-year-old man, who was not identified, twice in the chest, Ready said. The man was listed in good condition.
Thurm reloaded and headed toward the second-floor office, then confronted Schoellman and shot her, police said.
He then started fighting with a man and hit him in the head with his pistol, police said. The man had an eviction notice for Thurm, although it was not immediately clear whether Thurm knew that.
Thurm then fatally shot himself in the office, police said.
Another person at the complex was hospitalized with chest pains, but it was not immediately clear whether it was related to the shootings.
Resident Vince Rachal said the manager was "a very nice lady. She really, really cared for her residents."
Thurm ran a photography business and had moved to the apartment complex last December.
The Post Oak at Woodway apartment complex sits in a wooded area just blocks from an upscale shopping district and is in the same part of town where former President George Bush lives.