Dec. 30 (UPI) -- A Missouri man has been arrested in the death of his girlfriend, her two children and their grandmother at his home.
Richard Emery, 46, of Saint Charles, was charged Saturday with four counts of first-degree murder and 15 total charges, police said in a report by KREX-TV. Saint Charles is 24 miles northwest of St. Louis.
At 11:55 p.m. Friday, Saint Charles police received a 9-1-1 call from someone reporting a man with a gun, KMOX radio reported. The dispatcher could hear gunfire in the background.
Three people were found dead with gunshot wounds: 8-year-old Zoe J. Kasten, 10-year-old Jonathan D. Kasten and 61-year-old Jane M. Moeckel. Kate Kasten, the 39-year-old mother of the children, died from her injuries at a hospital.
"Anytime a human life is lost, it's a tragic situation and this one in particular is extremely tragic and sad," St. Charles County prosecuting attorney Tim Lohmar said. "What can possess someone to take the life of a child ... it's beyond me. I don't know how anyone could ever do such a thing and we may never know."
Lohmar said "it looks and smells like a death penalty case," according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The family had lived in the home for about a year and police were never called there.
The suspect tried to drive away from the home. He engaged in shootout with police officers, who were not injured, and he ran away on foot. The suspect then stabbed a woman with non-life-threatening wounds while trying to steal her car, police said. He ran away and 7 1/2 hours later at 7:30 a.m., he was found in a convenience store's restroom bleeding from gunshot wounds.
"This is the worst example of a domestic violence case," Lohmar said at a news conference.