HOUSTON - An entire family was found dead at a Fort Bend County home after police were called for a welfare check.
At 4:19 a.m. on Sunday, the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office received a request for a welfare check concerning an adult male who may want to harm his family.
Deputies arrived at the location, 9200 block of Sabastian Drive in the Houston area of Fort Bend County to find an unresponsive household. Deputies had to make forced entry after no one answered the door and observing two apparent deceased people in the kitchen area.
Deputies discovered four bodies inside the home from apparent gunshot wounds. The suspect, Ryan Brown, 48, appears to have killed his wife, two teen sons, and two dogs before turning the gun on himself. The victims are the suspect's wife Lynette Brown, 49, and two sons Sam, 16 and Hayes, 13.
Sheriff Troy Nehls struggled to hold back tears as he spoke to reporters about the gruesome scene.
“We have an entire family now that’s gone. That’s a sad day. This is heartbreaking that an entire family is wiped out from the actions of one person," said Sheriff Troy Nehls. "Violence is never the answer and there are people you can call to ask for help. We have a terrific Crisis Intervention Team that is ready at all times to help you or a family member in distress."
“We have to start addressing mental illness in this country,” Nehls continued.
Investigators believe Ryan Brown shot and killed his wife, two sons, along with their two dogs before turning the gun on himself. Nehls said Brown’s mother had called 911 for a welfare check around 4 a.m.
“There was some type of communication with her son that caused her to call us and we’re trying to figure out what exactly that was,” Nehls said.
Investigators have not identified a motive for the shooting.
Neighbors were shocked to find out the tragic news about the seemingly tight-knit and friendly family.
“We’d always see the dad and the kids play baseball. And they would also play with the other kids in the neighborhood too. The little brother of the family would always play with my little brother. It’s a big loss for the neighborhood too. They were nice people,” said Edwin Hernandez.
Hernandez said he and his family didn’t hear the gunshots but woke up to see the home across the street surrounded by law enforcement.
“We saw the whole scene through the window, when they were carrying out the bodies. He started crying. Especially my mom. She was shocked to see a dead body right in front of us,” Hernandez said.
Neighbors said Brown worked as a physical therapist and Lynette was a teacher for many years.
Nehls said he didn’t believe the family had any history of violence in the past. Authorities urge anyone who may be in distress to call the Crisis Intervention Team at 281-341-4675.