Investigators Release 911 Tape in Bloody Texas Attack on Family
ALBA, Texas – Investigators released a 911 tape Monday called in from the neighbor of a man who crawled to safety from his burning home after being shot five times for not approving of his daughter's boyfriend.
The bloody attack on a rural East Texas family's home left the man's wife and two sons dead. His 16-year-old daughter is one of four suspects in custody.
Terry Caffey, the father of the family and lone survivor, is the victim of a plot allegedly hatched by his teen daughter and friends after he and his wife, Penny, tried to break up the teen couple, authorities say. Penny, 37, and sons Tyler, 8, and Mathew, 13, were killed.
The caller told the operator that the man was conscious and breathing and that the house was on fire. "I don't know any more details," he said. "I've got to hang up and help him."
"I've got a man whose been shot out here by my house," a man who identified himself as Tommy Gaston told the 911 operator.
• Video: Click here to listen to the 911 call.
The Rains County Sheriff's department is not releasing the girl's name. Another suspect is her boyfriend.
"I knew that Terry and Penny didn't like him and were going to make her split up with him," the unidentified neighbor told the station.
Todd McGahee, the family's pastor, told FOX News that the community was praying for the family.
"We lost a precious family in our church. They were just some of the best people you would ever meet and that's changed. But God hasn't changed, he's still in control. The only place that we can go, the only place that we can lean upon is upon God," said McGahee, the family's pastor at Miracle Faith Baptist Church in Emory, Texas.
Terry Caffey was shot in the head, twice in the back and twice in the shoulder, McGahee said. He's visited Caffey in the hospital and expects him to recover but it will take time.
Caffey remains in critical but stable condition at the East Texas Medical Center in Tyler, Texas.
The teen was found by police early Sunday hiding at the home of one of the suspects, although it was not clear from the police account which of them she was dating or where she has been hiding.
The four suspects — which include the unidentified teen, 19-year-old Charlie James Wilkinson, 18-year-old Bobbi Gale Johnson and Charles Allen Wade, 20 — went before the Justice of the Peace and were formally charged Sunday morning with three counts of capital murder each, police said.
All remained in Rains County Jail with bonds set at $1.5 million.
Meanwhile, students went to school Monday after three of their classmates were arrested for their involvement in the attack. Counselors were on hand to help grieving students. The 16-year-old girl was also a student at the school.
"These were students who had not been in trouble a great deal," Rains school district superintendent David Seago said just after classes started Monday. "Maybe some tardies and absences, but that's it."
The scene of the attack was about 20 acres of pine-canopied, remote woodland on a narrow gravel road with just two other homes between the small East Texas towns of Emory and Alba. That is about 60 miles northeast of Dallas in Rains County, the second-smallest county in Texas.
Despite his wound, the father was able to crawl about 300 yards to a neighbor's house to seek help. Meanwhile, flames consumed the Caffeys' home.
Carl Johnson, a family friend, said he drove to the secluded road early Saturday after being told of the fire.
Johnson described the family as musicians, the boys playing guitars and harmonica and the mother, piano at church. He said he'd often tell the teenage daughter that he wanted her to sing at his funeral.
"I just thought the whole world of the family," said Johnson, 75. "They were good Christian people. [The father] was like a son of my own."
Harold Read, who lives about a mile away, said he was awakened by what he thought was thunder around 4 a.m., the time when authorities were first called to the house.
"All you read about out here are ticky-tacky crimes in the local paper," said Read, 67. "I never lock my doors. This is a quiet place."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.