San Saba Middle School student among 3 killed at home, 22-year-old man arrested

Crime

SAN SABA, Texas (KXAN) — San Saba ISD says one of its students died during an incident at home early Friday morning in which three people were killed.

Sgt. Bryan Washko with the Texas Department of Public Safety said a 62-year-old man, a 44-year-old woman and a 13-year-old girl died in an attack at 4:30 a.m. Another 18-year-old girl who was stabbed ran to a neighbor’s house and called 9-1-1.

Superintendent Wayne Kelly said the school district was notified that one of its students was involved in a homicide around 6:45 a.m. He and the middle school’s principal went to the crime scene at South Bluffton Street, which was about a mile away from the school.

Law enforcement investigating a triple homicide at a home in San Saba Feb. 21, 2020 (KXAN Photo/Jody Barr)
Law enforcement investigating a triple homicide at a home in San Saba Feb. 21, 2020 (KXAN Photo/Jody Barr)

Kelly said the incident that led to the deaths was a family violence situation and a suspect has been arrested. No students are in danger at this time.

On Friday afternoon, family and a neighbor confirmed to KXAN that the 13-year-old girl who was killed was Taylor Berkley, who is a neighbor from across the street and had spent the night with the 18-year-old, also identified by family and a neighbor as Daniela Valencia. During the incident, Valencia reportedly ran to Berkley’s house to call 911.

The 62-year-old man who was killed was Ronnie Crim and 44-year-old Elizabeth Crim, who were married, according to family and neighbors.

A man named Anthony Wayne Pierce, 22, was arrested Friday morning in Mills County following a high-speed chase that began in San Saba shortly after the homicides. Mills County Sheriff’s deputies assisted once the car crossed into their county.

He’s charged with aggravated assault on a public servant and evading arrest detention with a vehicle, according to the Mills County Sheriff’s Office.

Anthony Wayne Pierce is charged with aggravated assault by a public servant and evading arrest detention with a vehicle (Mills Co. Sheriff’s Office)

Neighbors and family say that Pierce was in a relationship with Valencia and that he was a source of trouble for the family in the past.

Pierce is in Mills County Jail on felony evading charges, according to Mills County Sheriff Clint Hammonds. Law enforcement has not named him as a suspect in the homicides at this time.

San Saba ISD says counselors and pastors have set up a crisis counseling area in the middle school library to talk with students. In addition to its own counselors, a response team out of San Angelo has been called to help, and the district also is a member of a local counseling co-op with six other school districts that has licensed counselors trained in high-needs situations. The partnership lets smaller school districts share important resources.

In an email to San Saba ISD parents and staff on Friday, Kelly wrote: “We are heartbroken that this has happened and our thoughts and prayers are with the families involved and the San Saba ISD family for their loss.”

The investigation is ongoing and therefore, only limited information is being released about details of the offense.

  • Law enforcement investigating a triple homicide at a home in San Saba Feb. 21, 2020 (KXAN Photo/Jody Barr)
  • Law enforcement investigating a triple homicide at a home in San Saba Feb. 21, 2020 (KXAN Photo/Jody Barr)
  • Law enforcement investigating a triple homicide at a home in San Saba Feb. 21, 2020 (KXAN Photo/Jody Barr)

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