HOUSTON -- Three children were found shot dead in their beds Sunday at a suburban Houston apartment building, and their father was charged with their murders after surviving an apparent suicide attempt, authorities said.
Muhammed Goher, 47, was charged with three counts of capital murder in the Sunday morning shootings, said Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Jamie Wagner.
Goher was in stable condition Sunday afternoon at Ben Taub Hospital in Houston, where he was being treated for what investigators say was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head, Wagner said. A sheriff's office statement said he was expected to survive.
Goher's two daughters, ages 14 and 7, and a 12-year-old son were killed in the shootings, which were reported around 9:45 a.m. The apartment is attached to a convenience store where Goher worked, about three miles south of Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport.
Goher is divorced from the children's mother, Norma Goher, but had court-ordered visitation rights, according to the statement.
Those rights were to be the subject of a Sept. 27 court hearing in Houston. However, Goher received the children Friday afternoon and was to have returned them to their mother Sunday afternoon, authorities said.
A female baby-sitter reported seeing Goher with a handgun and fled the apartment before hearing a gunshot, according to the statement.
Neighbors did not return telephone messages left Sunday by The Associated Press.
One neighbor, Julio Rodriguez, told the Houston Chronicle that he dialed 911 after he saw a woman screaming when she left the apartment at the time of the shooting.
"I heard her screaming, "Gun! Gun! Shoot! Shoot!' I got scared because I knew there were kids in there," he said.
Muhommad Riaz, Goher's co-worker at a convenience store near his apartment building, told the Chronicle that he had spoken with Goher Saturday. He found him to be upset over the upcoming court date and the fear of losing his visitation rights, Riaz said.
Goher said "everyone was lying" about him having a violent temper, Riaz told the newspaper.