No identifiers have been provided.
Around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, the murders took place inside the gunman’s girlfriend’s house in the Houston suburb of Galena Park.
According to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, the slain girls were aged 19, 14, and 13.
After attacking the 12-year-old, the 38-year-old urged her to leave the house, according to Gonzalez. She seized a 1-year-old girl infant and ran away.
She “ran out of the house without any clothes on” to a neighbor’s house, who then dialed Galena Park police.
“When she ran out she managed to think about it, thankfully, and was able to grab the 1-year-old and ran away,” Gonzalez said.
Both girls were hospitalized for treatment of injuries that were not life-threatening, according to a statement from Galena Park police. The investigation has been turned over to the sheriff’s department.
Authorities did not immediately return messages to The Associated Press for additional comment on Sunday.
Gonzalez said the man’s girlfriend was the mother of the 12-year-old and the 19-year-old. The older victim was the mother of the baby and was pregnant. The sheriff said the girlfriend was not at home at the time of the shootings.
The sheriff said authorities were working to determine the relationships of the other two teenagers who were shot but described them as family members.
Gonzalez offered no suspected motive for the shooting, saying it “makes no sense, it’s all tragic.”
The U.S. has seen a deadly start to 2023, including six mass killings in a three-week period in January, according to an Associated Press/USA Today database. It defines a mass killing as four or more people dead, not including the perpetrator.
Six people were killed in a mass shooting Friday in Mississippi and there have been a number of mass shootings in which fewer people were slain, such as Monday’s shooting at Michigan State University in which three people were killed and five were wounded.