(Updated August 8, 2013 6:06 PM)
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) –An army veteran, who also worked as a special education teacher and once performed as a Dallas Maverick ManiAAC, will be charged with four counts of capital murder, according to law enforcement officials from the Dallas and DeSoto Police Departments.
Erbie Bowser, 44, is accused of fatally shooting four women, and injuring four children during two separate shootings at homes in Dallas and DeSoto.
According to police, Bowser began his shooting spree around 10:30 p.m. at a home in the 7100 block of Long Canyon Trail in Dallas. Two people, 43-year-old Toya Smith and her 17-year-old daughter Tasmia Allen were killed. Police say Smith and Bowser were in a dating relationship, but Bowser was not related to anyone in the home. Two children were also shot. Smith’s 14-year-old son remains in critical condition and 17-year-old Dasmin Mitchell, a family friend visiting for the summer, is recovering from her injuries after surgery.
Mitchell was able to provide information to identify Bowser, according to police.
Bowser then traveled to a home about seven miles away in the 100 block of Galleria Drive in DeSoto. There, he tossed some type of explosive device into the home, police said, before opening fire again. In this shooting, police confirm Zina Bowser, 47, and her daughter Neima Williams, 28, were killed. Bowser was a nurse at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. An unidentified 11-year-old boy and 13-year-old boy remain in critical condition. Police say the suspect is the estranged husband of Zina Bowser and used to live at that home. He had no biological relation to Williams or the two children in the home, according to police.
Police were quickly alerted about the incidents. Just before the shooting at the Dallas home, Smith had been talking to her mom on the phone. When that conversation ended abruptly, the concerned mother called back and drove to the home when she received no answer. She found the victims and called 911.
The 13-year-old in the DeSoto home also called 911 and described over the phone what was happening.
Neighbors of the DeSoto home described a loud boom from an explosive device before the shootings. “We thought it was coming from upstairs, because the kids are always upstairs making noise,” said Tommy Johnson. “I went up and asked, ‘Did y’all hear anything?’ and one of my daughters said it came from outside. So, I peeped out the front and that’s when I saw a bunch of officers walking down the sidewalk about 10 houses up.”
Authorities confirm an explosive device of some kind was used and detonated. “When agents arrived…they did determine that an explosive device was used,” said Russ Morrison, spokesperson from the Dallas division of the ATF. “Remnants debris, residue of an explosive device was collected. All of that evidence will be submitted to our ATF national laboratory for analysis and identification.” Depending on the results, which could be available within 10 days, Bowser could face federal charges for possession and use of explosives.
Bowser worked as a special education teacher in the Mesquite Independent School District from December 2001 to March 2010 at Mesquite Academy and Berry Middle School. He had also been a coach at West Mesquite High School. A school district spokeswoman says he resigned in 2010 “on good terms.” He also participated in the Dallas Mavericks ManiAACs group, leaving in 2009.
Bowser was arrested without incident at the scene in DeSoto and was initially taken to Parkland Hospital for mental and physical evaluation. Police say he has said “very little” since being taken into custody and has given no explanation for the shootings.
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