ORANGE, Texas – Police using helicopters and dogs searched the woods of Southeast Texas on Tuesday for a man who killed three people in a rampage across two counties, telling a witness "I'm one of those people."
Two of the dead were children. Two other people were wounded, one critically.
The Newton County Sheriff's Department identified the man being sought as Perry Anthony Stevenson, 42.
The violence started early Monday when a man killed a woman in Orange, set fire to the home where the shooting occurred, then stole a car from a nearby home.
Relatives identified that victim as Mirian McEloy, 52, Stevenson's live-in girlfriend.
"She didn't know nothing about him," said McElroy's daughter, Priscilla Bailey of Kirbyville. "That's what scared me all the time."
The stolen vehicle was found wrecked about 40 miles away, near Call in Newton County, where a man broke into the home of Charles White and fired four shots into an empty bedroom.
"He said, 'I don't want to hurt anybody. I don't want to kill anybody,"' said White, 68, who was home with his wife.
White told the Beaumont Enterprise the man was carrying a Bible and a copy of the book "Alcoholics Anonymous."
At one point, the man said: "I'm one of those people. I'm one of those people."
When the man left, White ran after him and fired two shots from his shotgun. He said he thought he might have hit the man.
About 100 yards away, the man broke into the home of Gary and Gwen Pearson, where he shot Gwen Pearson and their three children.
Ashley Pearson, 10 and April Pearson, 14, were killed. Gwen Pearson was in critical condition, the Newton County Sheriff's department said, and 5-year-old Kaitlyn was in good condition at Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont.
Police said the man stole the Pearsons' vehicle, then wrecked it and ran into the woods near Call.
Neighbors of Stevenson and McElroy described him as a loner and a recluse.
"He just locked himself inside that trailer," said Tammy Ambrose.