- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 17, 2002

HUDSON OAKS, Texas A woman in the midst of a divorce fatally shot her three young children in their home, tried to kill her husband, then took her own life yesterday afternoon, law enforcement authorities said.

Police sources said the family was that of Fort Worth Fire Department Capt. Manny Perez and that Capt. Perez ran from the scene after being shot. Blood trailed from the family's fashionable home to that of a neighbor on the street directly behind.

"He had just left his residence," Hudson Oaks Police Chief Ray Riley said. "He had been shot over there. He had left information that there were still four people over there. That's why the officers responded and went back."

Records showed that Capt. Perez had lived in the Cottonwood Court home with Dee Etta Perez, 39.

Capt. Perez, 38, is a 17-year veteran of the fire department. He underwent surgery at Fort Worth's Harris Hospital and was in critical condition last night.

The incident caused disbelief in this town of 1,600, 22 miles west of Fort Worth.

"That's why people move here, to get away from this sort of thing," said Richard Townley, who lives nearby.

"I don't understand what happened," neighbor Donna Ware said. "She loved those children so much."

Craig Towson, a Weatherford lawyer who represented Perez in her divorce, told reporters that Perez had participated in a divorce-mediation session Monday night.

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